Broughton (England) – A local group of southern England blokes saw the Google Street View car driving through their neighborhoods and, after forming a small posse of locals, set out after him.
The group ultimately stopped the car and confronted the driver over worries of additional burglaries in their village made possible by invasive photos of their homes. There had already been three burglaries in the previous six weeks, and the Brits believed that posting the full view of their beautiful neighborhood would only entice them further.
Said Paul Jacobs to the BBC, “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. We’ve already had 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.”
The police eventually arrived to reports of a band of local citizens confronting the Google Street View contractor. However, by the time police arrived, the driver had already managed leave the scene, continuing on with in his mapping duties.
A police spokeswoman later said, “They felt his presence was an intrusion of their privacy. When police arrived at the scene, the car had moved on.”
A Google spokesman added, “The Metropolitan Police told us they saw no appreciable security risk, that burglars are opportunistic, and that mapping products can be useful in solving and mapping crime in an area. Embarking on new projects, we sometimes encounter unexpected challenges, and Street View has been no exception.”
Google had already gone through the necessary legal steps in England to ensure that their activities in Street View cars were legal, on the level, and known unto all — except possibly this group of southern Englanders.
See the BBC.