Charles Knight is the editor of The Next Web Search. Charles Knight is the editor of The Next Web Search.
This post is not about People search engines, your search history or a few embarrassing Facebook photos. Yes, there may be some sensitive items that I could find out about you using various search engines, but this is worse – much worse.
By now you’ve seen that Google Earth can access satellite images of your house or flat, and we’ve all heard those crazy stories about Google’s Street View catching men coming out of hotels with their girlfriends, and maybe you’ve see their Bike views or the new snowmobile cameras for the winter Olympics, but this is worse – much worse.
It all started when I read an article about the Swedish search site hitta.se. You see, they have incredible aerial views of your backyard too. What really spooked me was when I saw their street views. Consider this, if multiple search engines want to offer street views, just how many of those camera equipped cars will be driving around your area? How often do they come?
Now you may have read about that one group of people who stood in the road and blocked one of Google’s cars from entering and taping their homes, but how often do you think they could do that? What if the cameras were less conspicuous? Or in the sky? Parents could easily see if their kids are having a pool party with this view, even while they are half a world away. (See image below) Busted! But it gets worse – much worse.
There is another search engine called Cammap.net which allows you to search for public web cams (the very first image). These cameras even allow you to view multiple angles, and they are very real time. In that first image, if I wanted to watch you leave and return to that block of flats, it would be so easy, and then I could just click the camera button to document your movements.
Listen, I have a friend who is a very private individual. He will not allow ANY information about his family or children on the Internet. That’s fine, but can he keep them inside 24 hours a day? Can he avoid going outside when some search engine is driving by – or crusing overhead? Can he drive to work or school or shopping without passing any traffic webcams? That’s pretty bad, but it gets worse – much worse.
These search engines are available to anyone. Anyone. That means the media, ex-spouses, sex offenders, and burglars. The government is the least of your worries! I could be spying on you right now, in fact…hey…what the…cut that out!
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