Google Street View Raises Canadian Privacy Questions

There is something fascinating and unsettling about Street View, a relatively new offering from Google with help from Calgary-based Immersive Media. If you enjoyed finding your own house on Google Earth, then wait until you see yourself strolling down a side-walk on Street View. At the moment, the service is offered for New York, San Francisco and a handful of other US cities. But it doesn’t take long to see the potential for this to be rolled-out in cities around the world.  Reportedly, Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City have already been “imaged”.

In anticipation of this coming soon to a street corner in Canada, the Canadian Privacy Commissioner has raised a few questions about the privacy implications of recognizing individuals on the street – in other words, collecting personal information without consent and then selling it.

The law regarding surveillance video will be helpful in the analysis, but this is a new twist on an old problem.  Once again, technology, intellectual property and privacy rights have intersected to stir-up some interesting issues and the law will have to catch-up and sort out the implications. 

Calgary – 10:30 MST

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