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Paranoid Villagers Force Google's Car Out of Town

People talk about the pros and cons of Google Street View all the time: It allows people to visit places they’ve never been before without ever leaving their couch. It also shows burglars which areas areas have the bigger fancier houses and which ones don’t have big fancy gates.

One crowd of British folk who had a problem with the idea decided to take the matter into their own hands. Instead of just requesting the picture be removed after it had been taken and used on Google Street View, they community physically forced the Google Street View car out of the area in order to stop the photos being taken in the first place.

The TimesOnline reports that as Google Street View car trundled towards Broughton with a 360-degree camera on its roof, villagers formed a human chain to stop it. While they were arranging themselves they lectured the Googler inside about the invasion of privacy and insisted he was facilitating crime by posting pictures online that could be used by burglars.

Resident Paul Jacobs was the first person to notice, according to the Times. “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.”

Mr. Jacobs described the area as affluent and claimed there’d already been three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. “If our houses are plastered all over Google it’s an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police.”

While we recognize the concerns people have with Google Street View, we laughed out loud when we read this story. If they’re so worried about robberies, they might try investing in an alarm for their house rather than trying to hide the fact that it’s there at all.

Jane McEntegart is Manager of Content Marketing at ASUS North America, and previously worked for more than 7 years at Tom's Guide and Tom's Hardware, holding such roles as Contributing Editor and Senior News Editor.

  • JustPlainJef
    Why is it an invasion of privacy? If I drive down the street, I'd see the house. Google isn't on private property and they aren't giving us anything I couldn't get for free.

  • icepick314
    surprised there weren't any torches and pitchforks with yelling something about witchcraft and black magic...
  • brits... tsss!
  • Master Exon
    When I found out Google street view was being made, I immediately bought curtains and a dog for protection.
  • koss64
    Your neighbours house just got robbed , would you feel comfortable with complete strangers drving around in a car taking pictures of your house to put on the internet where evrey Tom,Dick and Harry can see?
  • asdfsdfa
    Remember people, different country. Their neo socialist system does not afford the same rights that other countries possess.
  • arson94
    Dick wouldn't rob houses with Tom nor Harry. Only his wife Jane. Duh...
  • The villagers are "Paranoid"? That's insulting and condescending. What ever happened to the "right to privacy"? Nosy people have plenty of options for their voyeurism. Get off your lazy behinds and GO somehwere!
  • aalkema
    I don't understand what those people are thinking?

    "Maybe if the robbers don't think there are any houses in this town... they won't rob us!"
  • Lol @ fun with Dick and Jane

    I was irritated when I found out my street had just streetviewed. 1st, I missed seeing the vehicle, I wanted to see it in person. 2nd, I didn't get to flash my junk at the camera/post a humorous sign for all to see! *shakes fist* D: