When the satellite-photo version of Google Maps came out earlier this year, there was some apprehension about the impact of these high-resolution photos on individual privacy. For example, some nervousness about being able to see the car in your driveway. I’m sensitive to privacy concerns, but for the most part I think these worries are unwarranted: most individual activities wouldn’t show up on even the highest resolution photos, and the age of the photos, as we’ve seen, can be considerable in some cases.
I’ve been on a moratorium over the past couple weeks on these Google Earth/Map privacy/security issues because nothing new has come out of any of them. Well I’ve lifted that ban temporarily to post about an excellent article over at The Map Room by Jonathan Crowe. Jonathan brings up some great new points about the difference between individual privacy concerns and state control over “secret” information. In the end I totally agree with his assertion that this is just a case of everyone overreacting.