Google’s street view feature/vehicles have been met with controversy, especially since hitting the lands of Europe. The saga continues this week as Germany’s Federal Commissioner is trying to block the service from scanning local WiFi networks and grabbing PC user’s MAC addresses. From a privacy perspective this is pretty intrusive since obtaining this information could very well mean that snoops (or spooks) could tie back an individual’s virtual identity to a real identity. Course, in all likelihood you’re revealing your real identity in all your virtual communications, but alas, point made.
I’m a fan of Google – I think they’ve been collecting this info in the US for sometime now – but they’re quickly becoming George Orwell’s Big Brother. Until recently, Apple provided an iPhone users GPS location any time a search was performed in the Google toolbar, that is until Google launched their own set of handset and became a threat to their handset division.
What do you think? Will this feature make Google more useful or is just a complete intrusion of privacy?