Do Aerial Maps Violate Our Privacy?

These Maps Are Nice to Look at, but Not Smart
from the LA Times revisits the
entire "do aerial maps show too much" issue. Past stories on this topic have
tended to look at how various countries are concerned that sensitive areas are
displayed. This reporter takes a different angle, about whether maps show too
much about our own homes.

So do you have a privacy right for your house not to be displayed? My initial
reaction was no. Airplanes, helicopters and satellites fly overhead all the time
taking pictures. They’ve been doing this since before such images where shown
through products from Google and Microsoft. The data’s already been out there,
accessible in other ways, for ages. Heck, pick any car chase in LA and people
know how the helicopters go up, broadcasting "private" images from above to
anyone. Aerial privacy — c’mon!

Then again, perhaps Google and Microsoft should consider allowing people to
block out their homes, if they can prove they are the owners. If the White House
and the US Capitol get to be blanked out, why not give everyone the right as
good customer relations?

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