Skip to content

Japanese Protest Google Privacy Invasions

Japanese quality of life and humanitarian advocates are referring to Google as that big, bad IT behemoth formerly known as Cyberdyne Systems (Terminator movies).

“It is necessary to warn society that an IT giant is openly violating privacy rights, which are important rights that the citizens have, through this service.”

They are calling for a ban of Google street view for Japanese cities. Google thinks it’s cool to video tape everyone’s neighborhoods and homes and put it onto the Internet for the public to peruse. Not everyone agrees this is a good idea. The question is, does Google need permission? Perhaps a better question is, did Google ever think to ask?

It’s too easy to point to some good that comes from these innovations to justify any objections. History reminds us that major wars have resulted from social blunders and insulting indifference. Just as overly-direct, geeky nerds are often considered abrupt and rude due to their tendency to overlook basic common courtesies, Google has become a humanitarian embarassment. Yes, it’s way cool to do amazing things with public data. No, it’s not cool to force it down our throats.

Here’s to hoping Google gets a clue before someone starts throwing more shoes.


  1. Lucas Ng wrote:

    There’s an interesting case study of Google Streetview being culturally insensitive by NOT capturing some parts of Japan.

    Hitherto hidden communities of ‘discriminated people’ called Burakumin have been publicly revealed by being blanked out of Google Streetview.

    These previously unhindered communities have been subjected to increasing discrimination crimes. Ouch! If only they thought about the impact of blanking out these parts of Japan beforehand…

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Permalink
  2. I never really thought about it, but I guess the Japanese have a point, then again as a kid I in New Zealand, I remember New Zealanders being very paranoid about the number of photos Japanese tourist were taking, saying that Japan was constructing a big map of the whole country, so they could invade it, and know where everything was.

    Can you just imagine the size of that map, and just how it would look, lol…. funny thing was, when people started looking at the google maps, and finding their homes, they all thought it was really cool, perhaps it’s just a sign of the times.

    Tuesday, December 30, 2008 at 4:45 pm | Permalink