Imagine my surprise when I put our business address into the navigation function of my phone and was served up a picture of our loading dock. Not the picture that we posted on our web site, but a picture I had never seen before.
After several years of not being able to find our address (on a private road) in any of the online mapping software, there we were on Google Street View. Apparently a Google mapping survey vehicle had visited our neighborhood, and there was a picture of our loading dock-uncut grass included-for all the world to see.
While Google Street View may be useful for businesses, say a delivery driver who is wondering which dock is ours, its indiscriminate use, regardless of the address being sought out, is troubling. I don’t mind someone being able to identify my business address, I would prefer that not just anyone be able to identify which home driveway is mine and which is my neighbors’.
Of less concern in the privacy arena, but clearly of great interest to a business owner, is how unflattering the image Google chose to use was. We have a very attractive building with a large landscaped front lawn fronting on a major US highway. We take care in presenting a good face to the public and regret that Google chose to use a view of our facility that almost no one ever sees.
While we have no interest in manipulating accurate data that is in the public domain, we do feel that Google should take more care to present a balanced presentation of what their images really represent.
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