New 3D Mapping Effort Blurs Privacy Line, Schumer Says
Senator Charles Schumer is raising a red flag over new imaging technology being used by Apple and Google that he says fails to address the balance between technology and privacy. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
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Senator Charles Schumer says someone may soon be watching you in the privacy of your own yard without you knowing.
"In the last few weeks Apple and Google have announced they are going to use military grade spy planes to map communities across the country and publish the images online," Schumer said.
The images will be in 3D and will have a much greater level of detail than ones currently used by Google. As a result, Senator Schumer has called upon the companies to make some concessions as they implement the new technologies. They include notification of communities before they are mapped, blurring out individuals, letting property owners opt out of mapping, and blurring out sensitive infrastructure details.
"I am also calling on the companies to work with local law enforcement to blur out these locations so criminals and even terrorists aren't given a road map to commit future crimes," Schumer said.
Schumer adds the new technology is so precise it can recognize an individual's face from 10,000 feet up.
"If I'm not doing anything wrong. I don't really care," said one New Yorker.
"I'm not against photographing houses. But I think people's faces it is I think it is a little bit of an invasion of privacy," said another New Yorker.
"I think it is patently dangerous that they are doing this. It is a compromise to our personal privacy," noted a third New Yorker.
Schumer says if the companies do not comply he will look to existing laws to block the use of the images or develop new legislation.
Apple did not return NY1's request for comment but representatives from Google said, "We appreciate the senator’s concerns and we look forward to meeting with him to demonstrate how the imagery used to develop our 3D models is similar to what's already publicly available in 2D mapping products. We currently don't blur aerial imagery because the resolution isn't sharp enough for it to be a concern."