Residents Block Google StreetView Cars from Filming UK Community

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Google’s StreetView project is no stranger to controversy and privacy concerns, and the company has many times crossed on the edge of trespassing and entering private property to film houses, yards, cars and children at play.

This time however, some community residents decided to take their own action against Google, and roadblocked a Google StreetView car from entering their community.

Last week as a Google car entered the small English community of Broughton, residents got together and set up a physical roadblock, stopping the Google StreetView car and blocking it from photographing their village, then called the police to have the Google StreetView car removed (Google reportedly hightailed it out of there before the police arrived).

Resident Paul Jacobs, who got together the group, told the BBC (via DigitalTrends) :

I don’t have a problem with Google wanting to promote villages. What I have a problem with is the invasion of privacy, taking pictures directly into the home. Google have taken a tremendous liberty in the way they’ve gone about it. If they were simply going to view the street as a street scene rather than drive almost into people’s drives and take pictures of the houses – I think that’s a different issue.

Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
Loren Baker
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  • Gidseo

    I enjoyed The Times coverage of this – – ‘Perhaps, I thought, they are all smack dealers or part of a child-kidnapping ring. Maybe they have Lord Lucan or Osama Bin Laden hidden away behind those twitching net curtains: it would be a good place for Osama, Milton Keynes, a very good place from which to cultivate a fearsome loathing of the West. But then I remembered the “mole man” and all became clear. ‘
    The saner residents of GB appreciate that if Google weren’t mapping everything for us our beloved government would be charging us to access the info.
    So, I for one say thank you Goog.

  • Daniel

    Heh, I like that quote, Gidseo. And I agree Google is doing it as a public service. Why else would they make it public for free?

    I think the concern is very much overblown. As the Canadian Press said, “Obviously you need to protect privacy, and you need to work with governments and local authorities to make sure that any concerns they may have, you have to answer to them. And that’s exactly what we’re doing.” (as quoted at

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