This is my fave Friday lunchtime story. Perhaps inspired by the G20 protests this week, the people of Broughton (a village in Buckinghamshire) took to the streets today to stop the Google Street View car taking pictures of their streets.
Reported in the Times (and many other places) today:
It was Paul Jacobs who provided the first line of resistance. “I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane,” he said. “My immediate reaction was anger; how dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime.”
He then ran round the village knocking on doors to rouse fellow residents. While the police were called, the villagers stood in the road, not allowing the car to pass. The driver eventually did a U-turn and left.
It’s times like this you turn to the Daily Mail, which was supportive of the villagers plight. Although it stopped short of calling them the “Broughton Martyrs” (or similar), referring instead to the village’s three break-ins in the past six weeks.
Funnily enough, two of the villagers were happy enough to cheerfully pose for the paper. The Mail is also happy enough to show the Google car’s number plate without blurring it in the way Google does (the Google Street View car is surely the most photographed car in Britain?)
But as one commenter on the Times sensibly pointed out, it’s not illegal to take pictures of public highway and we do it all the time when we’re on holiday.
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- Village mob thwarts Google Street View car (Libby Purves/Times of London) (techmeme.com)