Street Signs

Praise and Concern for Google's Street View

Is Google's new Street View feature violating the U.S. Constitution? Taking up the issue on "Street Signs" were Edward Jurkevics, Internet mapping and imagery consultant for Chesapeake Analytics, and John Gapper, chief business commentator at the Financial Times.

Street View offers 360-degree, ground-level photographs of urban sidewalks and buildings in various metropolises in America. But images including license plate numbers, a close view of a window -- which some construe as a view through a window -- and a gentleman leaving an ostensible adult-entertainment establishment have caused some to complain that Google's data mining has gone too far.

Jurkevics scoffed at the complaints, telling CNBC's Erin Burnett that "out on the street, there is no reasonable expectation of privacy."

He gave an example: "If you're cheating on your spouse and leaving a restaurant -- it's fair game" for photographers.

They Know What You're Looking For

Jurkevics said pessimists are mistaken, as no technology will be "peering very far into people's homes."

But Gapper said Street View may be indicative of a bigger problem -- one that goes beyond "individual images or collections of images." He's concerned that Google is collecting so much data, including users' search patterns, that "they really know an awful lot" about a huge population of people.

Google announced it will voluntarily remove images from Street View upon request.