CNET: Note to privacy advocates: good luck

Google is back in the news as another privacy group gets hot and bothered about their eye in the sky.
No one wants a satellite snooping, but the privacy group actually posted Street View directions to a Google exec’s home online. Speaking as one who has seen firebombing near the UCSC campus this week to protest the research work done by various professors, I think the group went too far. Read on…
“There are plenty of legitimate concerns about the privacy intrusions of Google Maps’ Street View, but one privacy group went a bit overboard with an attack on the search giant’s all-seeing eye.
“Google’s hypocrisy is breathtaking,” accused Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, in a statement last week. Perhaps, but he would have been better to pick stronger grounds for his conclusion.
The center provided two recent quotations from Google as evidence. First was “privacy does not exist,” from Google’s May 28 rebuttal to an April invasion-of-privacy suit related to Street View. Second was “Google takes privacy very seriously,” from Google’s response to a request that California’s attorney general scrutinize privacy implications of Google’s ad partnership with Yahoo.
The National Legal and Policy Center took a jab at Google by posting Street View directions to a top Google executive’s house.
Those two statements indeed appear contradictory. The trouble is that the center significantly distorted the first, which actually was the much milder assertion, “Today’s satellite-image technology means that…complete privacy does not exist.” ”
Read the rest here.

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