Earlier this year it was reported that the London borough of Haringey had used a spy plane to record residents’ energy use patterns:
- Thermal images of homes have been taken by a light aircraft fitted with military spy technology to record the heat escaping from people’s houses.Maps identifying individual homes have now been placed on the internet to encourage occupiers to reduce their wastage and carbon emissions by fitting insulation and turning the thermostat down.
- An aircraft, fitted with a military-style thermal imager, flew over the borough 17 times to take pictures of almost every house in the area.Footage of heat loss was converted into stills, then laid over a map of the area, before each house was given colour-coded ratings.
Homes that were losing the most heat were represented as bright red on the map. The least wasteful households were shown in deep blue. Shades of paler blues and reds were used to show grades of heat loss.
A formal complaint about Google’s Street View has been sent to the Information Commissioner (ICO).
Drawn up by lobby group Privacy International (PI), it cites more than 200 reports from members of the public identifiable via the service.
PI wants Street View shut down while the ICO investigates the service.
“The ICO has repeatedly made clear that it believes that in Street View the necessary safeguards are in place to protect people’s privacy,” said Google.
Privacy International (PI) director Simon Davies said his organisation had filed the complaint given the “clear embarrassment and damage” Street View had caused to many Britons.
Active government invasion of your privacy is OK, recording public views of the streets isn’t.
Britain is a strange, strange country any more.