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Milkman Blames Google Street View for Garage Burglary

milkman street view robbery
Google's Street View application has certainly captured bizarre people doing bizarre things. And it's definitely come under fire from some who claim that it crosses a certain line of privacy. But could Street View really help criminals target their victims?

Such is the claim made by 52-year-old Englishman Gordon Rayner, who says that Google's Street View enticed a group of burglars to attack his home. According to the Telegraph, the depiction of Rayner's house appears on Street View shows his garage door wide open and everything inside. Although the house's windows and Rayner's face are both blocked out on Google, he believes the search engine should've blacked out his open garage door, as well, calling it "an invitation for any criminal to take what they like." The break-in happened on March 12, and resulted in Rayner's bike getting swiped. The same burglars reportedly returned on two other nights, but were unsuccessful in sneaking into his garage.

The incident represents the latest controversy that Google's faced surrounding its Street View application, which many believe violates individual privacy rights. A Google spokesman said that the company does blur out images upon individual request, but maintained that "the imagery on Street View is no different to what anyone could readily capture or see by traveling down the street themselves." Police are currently investigating the crime, but unless they prove that the burglars explicitly targeted Rayner's garage because of Street View, we're not convinced that Google's to blame. It probably should have blurred out the images in his garage, simply because it did so for his windows. But a garage door, by definition, opens and closes. Google's cameras just happened to catch it at a moment when it was open, which, in itself, isn't necessarily an invasion of privacy. Perhaps it made it easier for the criminals to size up the heist from their laptop instead of from a suspicious parked car across the street. But that doesn't necessarily mean that Street View was critical to the crime. [From: The Telegraph; via: HuffingtonPost]

Tags: burglars, burglary, google, google street view, google streetview, GoogleStreetView, street view, street view privacy, StreetView, StreetViewPrivacy, top, web