Mob of people run Google StreetView car out of town

There’s some confused people in Broughton, a Buckinghamshire village.  According to the Times:

So when the Google Street View car trundled towards Broughton with a 360-degree camera on its roof, villagers sprang into action. Forming a human chain to stop it, they harangued the driver about the “invasion of privacy”, adding that the images that Google planned to put online could be used by burglars.

Their main concern seemed to be that this would help to facilitate crime in the area.  They’ve had three burglaries in the past six weeks and they’re concerned that this could lead to more.  I’m thinking that if they already have a high crime rate in the area, stopping Google from getting imagery should be a little lower on their list of concerns.

A commenter on Digg made a good point that I’m sure will be lost on these villagers:

I hope everyone’s bank account is FDIC insured because I’m sure the street car has caught a lot of banks on camera and now they’re all like 20 times more likely to get robbed.

For the record, the car was on public roads and was completely legal.  It’s not like the couple that sued Google for taking pictures of their house on a private road (which backfired badly anyhow).  Google had every legal right to do what they were doing.  That being said, I think the driver did the right thing by turning around to avoid making the situation worse.

I’d really like to see these images show up on StreetView, with a mob of (blurred-out, I suppose) faces around the car.  I’m sure they won’t post it, but it’d sure be funny to see!  I wonder if Google will go back and try to capture this area again, or if they’ll just move on to other areas?


  1. As an Employee of Google I am outraged to find out someone has taken pictures of our fleet of camera mounted cars. Have they no respect for privacy?


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