Google Street View ‘not welcome’ in Potters Bar

A VIOLATION of our privacy.

That was the reaction from Potters Bar residents after reading our front page story last week revealing how much of the town is now under the gaze of Google Street View.

The mapping system enables internet users to interactively walk down roads and see 360 degree detailed images of residential and commercial streets.

John Godfrey, chairman of Potters Bar Crime Reduction Group, told the Potters Bar Edition how he felt the technology would only aid burglars.

And many people agree.

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Janice Gunther, of The Avenue, said: “It’s an invasion of privacy, I really do think that.

“I thought this as soon as I heard it was coming out.”

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The 63-year-old added: “They say anyone can walk down the street and take pictures but they are likely to be seen.

“No one is going to know about this though.”

Patricia Smith, of Shillitoe Avenue, said: “It’s a bit scary, a bit Big Brother-esque. I’m not sure about it at all.”

Alastair Maclean, of Ladbrooke Drive, said: “It might help burglars to get a better view than they normally would.

“We weren’t asked if we wanted it or not. I think it’s a bit of an intrusion.”

However, Shaun Joynson, a keen photographer, said such worries were a “red herring” as the UK doesn’t have strict privacy laws.

He said: “We don’t have laws restricting anyone photographing people and places in a public place from a public place.

“Thus, provided I had no sinister intent, I could stand on the public highway opposite a primary school and film the comings and goings at 8.30am on a Monday morning during term time without breaking any laws.”

Mr Joynson, of Mutton Lane, added: “There has never been a scintilla of evidence that any house has ever been burgled because it was on Google Earth.

“These unnecessary bleatings and blatherings about public photography are just another part of the paranoia in this country that believes that any private person filming or taking pictures ‘must’ be a terrorist, criminal or paedophile.”

A Google spokeswoman told the Potters Bar Edition last week they did not believe Street View aids burglars and took privacy issues very seriously, respecting people may not want imagery of their house, car or selves featured on the service.

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