Italian officials today launched a probe into Google, which has been accused of collecting mounds of personal information through unsecured Wi-Fi networks with its Street View cars.
This is just the latest in a long line of governments looking into the matter, from Australia to Germany to South Korea. We’ve found it increasingly difficult to keep track of all Google’s privacy snafus. So here’s a handy way to track international investigations into Google Maps: A Google Map mashup. Click on the pins for news about investigations or allegations in each location.
View Google Street View Privacy Probes in a larger map
[Image: Flickr user sanchom]
For the third time, Google has managed to misplace the city of Sunrise, Florida, home to 90,000 U.S. citizens and the NHL’s Florida Panthers. Despite Sunrise’s being a reasonably sizable place with plenty of businesses, the world’s most popular search engine can’t seem to keep the city in its rightful place: on the east coast of Florida just outside of Fort Lauderdale. For one month this summer, any Google Maps searches for locations in the city of Sunrise defaulted to searching Sarasota, some 200 miles away.
The city’s mayor, Mike Ryan, is at a loss. He told CNN, “It felt like a bizarre novel — that all of a sudden we disappeared. We woke up one morning and we didn’t exist.” After a public outcry, Google fixed the issue, but not before many business owners claimed that they had lost revenue thanks to the city’s disappearing act. Google told CNN that it can’t share details about the specific incident, but said “technical errors are investigated and resolved on a case by case basis as quickly as possible.” Although understandably frustrated, Mayor Ryan has at least maintained a sense of humor about the situation. This summer he sent a map of Sunrise to Google’s Eric Schmidt after filing his complaint.
Again. This is the third time.
By Matt Williams, Street View Operations Program Manager at Google
In the Beginning
Street View was launched in May 2007 to allow our users to explore the world through images. At the time, coverage was limited to just five U.S. cities…. The feature provides users 360° horizontal and 290° vertical panoramic street level views within Google Maps.
If you are an owner of a property and would like to have Street View imagery collected, please check out our Street View Partner Program.
If I were a business owner, the Google Street View Partner Program would definitely be worth looking into. In fact, one can even embed a street view photo image on one’s webpage, blog or business site. I believe that feature is still in beta mode, as embedding Google non-photographic image maps was only recently introduced.
True Google fangrrrrls (and fanboys) can follow the link above, to discover the origin and identity of Pegman. There are photos of Pegman as a life-sized character, as well as an original schematic drawing of Pegman’s actual dimensions. I could’ve embedded them as in-line images, but I’m uneasy already about republishing excessive amounts of Google original content, while remaining within the bounds of “fair use”….