Windows Live Local Virtual Earth and Privacy in Public

A post on Slashdot recalls the discovery of an SUV filming the streets of San Francisco:

Today as we were biking around our neighborhood in a small city we saw a strange vehicle slowly driving around. It appeared to be an SUV, bristling with cameras mounted on the roof, and pointing just about every possible direction. The first time we saw it, all we could see was that it had a sign on the side, something about Windows. The second time we saw it, we stared at it so hard that the driver stopped and we had a chance to ask him what it was all about. He said he was driving around, filming streets, and that there were people doing this all over the world, and getting data from the air too. It was going to be available on the Web. I asked him if this was Microsoft’s answer to Google Earth, and he indicated that it was.

Hustler Club in Windows Live Local Virtual EarthEnter Windows Live Local Virtual Earth, currently offering street level images of San Francisco and Seattle. You can drive or walk around the map and view the streets and storefronts…and the people. This detailed level of mapping carries significant concerns about one’s privacy in public (that I’m too swamped to fully theorize now).

For now, click on this image and you’ll find the image captured for the Hustler Club in San Francisco. What if you were walking out the door with a big smile on your face at the moment Microsoft’s magical SUV was passing by? Instead of being seen by just the handful of people who happen to be on the street at that moment, now anyone with a computer will know your dirty little secret…


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