As widely reported in Germany and abroad, it seems that a lot of vocal Germans hate the idea of Street View.
I must say I enjoy it – I like looking at places in the UK that I know, and that I don’t know.
It’s also been widely reported that some of the opponents of Street View have revealed more about themselves than had they done nothing – for example, there’s a photo of some of them outside their home! A picture can be seen here in a German-language NDR TV blog entry.
It’s been pointed out elsewhere that opponents of Street View are ignorant about what Google is doing and what is already done by other services. Germany had a minister of justice who didn’t know what a browser is, and the suggestions in recent years of protecting privacy on the internet have been worrying. Jeff Jarvis on BuzzMachine summarizes some of the issues.
Jarvis at one and the same time asks ‘What makes Germans go bonkers about Street View?’ and yet quotes several Germans who don’t. Our problem is some of the media and some of the politicians and how they define ‘Germany’ and ‘the USA’. It is a very fruitful row to hoe if one looks at media clichés about a country.
Yesterday, Jeff Jarvis tweeted some amusement at the German word Verpixelungsrecht (thanks to the ever mysterious Ed of Blawg Review), which probably looks odd to people who don’t know that German makes portmanteau words. Verpixeln is the normal German word for pixelate.
Amazing (new) German word in its privacy mania: Verpixelungsrecht: The right to be pixelated? http://bit.ly/d8vbPX
For genuinely odd German words, see Wortistik (a taz blog).
LATER NOTE: so much for my scorn – Wortistik has now posted an entry on Verpixelungsrecht as a snappier term for das Recht auf informationelle Selbstbestimmung, usually translated by me as the right to informational self-determination.