Your Views: Google Street View across the UK

Swindon on Street View

Google's Street View has spread across the UK, adding rural roads and towns to the major cities it first included.

The extension again raised the complaints that cropped up when the photo mapping system first came to the UK last year. So are people used to Street View now or are they still concerned about privacy and security?

We asked readers of the IT PRO newsletter to write in to share their thoughts.

A few weren't happy about the potential privacy intrusion.

Mark said: "In my honest opinion, it is nothing more than an intrusion, the potential use by the criminal element to case' areas just adds to my distaste of the whole concept, we should have had a government that had a pair big enough to say 'no' to the Google entity."

Mickey agreed. "Google Street View is a violation of my security and demonstrates the complete arrogance of Google."

No privacy problems?

Most IT PRO readers don't buy that argument, however.

Stuart noted: "It's merely a snapshot at a point in time, and is rapidly out of date. Anyone can take any photo in any street without permission, so what's the difference?"

John agreed. "Burglars have been successfully assessing opportunities since time immemorial and comprehensive details of massive numbers of vacant properties are shown without adverse comment by estate agents."

Harry also doesn't buy the safety concerns. "Well shiver me timbers, we seem to have raised a whole lot of lily-livered wee moaners here in the Great British Isles. Why don't we turn off all the street lights and black out the road and street signs then nobody will find their precious little castle home?"

Jason wonders about people worried about privacy. "Simply put, those that want privacy either like being all alone or have something to hide!"

Best tool on the web?

Others were simply impressed by how useful it is. "This is one of the most brilliant things on the web... terrific if you are looking to buy a house and want to see the area first [or for] walking down memory lane and reminiscing. I can't think of anything against it," said Bill.

Wedding photographer Jeff uses it to find the best spots to take pictures, he said. "Google street maps is one of the most useful tools provided on the net."

Pete likes it so much he wants Google's camera car to come back to get a more up-to-date photo of his house. "My wife would like them to make an appointment to come back, so that she can tidy the garden a bit more. It was actually looking pretty good anyway, but she can see untidiness where no male can. And we have also replaced the car that is pictured on our drive, so that needs to be updated...."