Feeds

Milkman skewers Google Street View over garage break-in

'Online shopping for crooks'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A UK-based milkman and former football manager has questioned whether Google Street View played a role in a series of attempted burglaries on his home - one successful - after Google's virtual window onto the world's very real streets exposed a photo of his wide open garage.

Gordon Rayner, 54, suspects that burglars may have used Street View to target the contents of his garage, which are clearly visible in the photo snapped by one of Google's roving camera cars as it rode through the streets of Bradford. "People need to be aware of this: it's a serious invasion of privacy," Rayner tells The Reg. "It's basically shopping online for these crooks."

Rayner - the former manager of the Bradford Park Avenue and Guiseley football clubs - is also pictured in the pan-and-zoomable photo, and he remembers Google's Orwellian Opel driving past as he was pressure-washing his driveway. In the photo, Google has blurred out his face - and his car's licence plate - but not the open garage.

On Friday, March 12, Rayner says, burglars broke into the garage and made off with a £350 bicycle, then made two unsuccessful attempts at another break-in that Saturday and Sunday. The West Yorkshire police are investigating the matter, but Rayner tells us he's also pondering legal action against Google.

Google works to proactively blur faces and license plates in Street View photos, and you can ask the company to remove any picture that features you, your family, your car, or your home. "We do remove homes when requested, and always have," a company spokesman tells The Reg. Each Street View pic includes a "report a problem" link for requesting removals.

But Rayner was unaware of this when he spoke to him. In fact, he was unaware that he and his home were pictured on Street View until his neighbour's son pointed out the photo in the wake of the burglary. A Google spokesman told the Bradford Telegraph and Argus: “The imagery on Street View is no different to what anyone could readily capture or see by travelling down the street themselves.

“We’ve now launched Street View in around 20 countries and nowhere has there been any increase in crime as a result.” ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.