Hey Google & Apple, stop spying on folks trying to get their groove ON!
That’s the message Sen. Charles Schumer gave Sunday to Google, as well as to rival Apple, warning that the two companies could cause an “unprecedented invasion of privacy” with their new 3-D map applications.
The two companies are racing to each create more and more powerful map software, and the result has been camera technology that’s strong enough to see sunbathers in their backyards, said Schumer.
Both companies are reportedly using military-grade spy planes in order to create aerial maps that are much more detailed than those already out there, such as Google Earth.
The planes can even see through windows and record images of objects as small as four inches, according to Schumer.
“Barbequing or sunbathing in your backyard shouldn’t be a public event,” Schumer said. “People should be free from the worry of some high-tech peeping Tom technology violating one’s privacy when in your own home.”
He conceded that the technology may have “functional and important uses,” but said that the privacy issues need to be addressed. “We need to hit the pause button here and figure out what is happening,” he said.
In a letter to Apple and Google, Schumer asked the competing companies to provide notification to communities being mapped, to allow property owners to opt out and to automatically blur photos of individuals.
Schumer also said that sensitive infrastructure details like power lines and reservoir access points should be omitted so as not to inadvertently assist criminals and terrorists.
Google, which plans to have its new 3-D maps available by the end of this year, did not respond to a request for comment. Apple also could not be reached.
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