There appears to be some issues for the Google family in Italy. This article – thenextweb.com/google/2010/10/25/italian-privacy-regulators-order-google-to-brand-street-view-cars/ talks about how Italy is starting to enforce some stronger privacy regulations when it comes to Google and their street-view mobiles.
Italy not only wants Google to clearly identify their vehicles, but to also post their routes for the day when they go out to visually document new places for their online database of maps. It is believed that this is because of the large amount of people who are un-listing their residences from the database (250,000 German homeowners alone, according to the above article).
So…my opinion? Look at the picture of the cars in the article. If you see one of those rolling down the street, you aren’t going to think that’s Joe the Plumber next door. It’s got a camera mounted to the top and crazy designs on the side. How much more clearly can they identify it? It’s pretty obvious to me that they are a business that will be taking pictures and/or video.
And what are the homeowners going to be doing with the new information? Are they going to look up the route, see that Google is coming to their neighborhood, and post a lawn sign stating that Google needs to keep out while they go on to work that day? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
Regardless, Google has some challenges ahead. I’m sure that they will rise above the occassion and figure something out. They always do. They’re Google.
Have a good week!