Google Earth

Only available on StudyMode
  • Topic: Google Earth, Google Street View, Google Maps
  • Pages : 11 (3068 words )
  • Download(s) : 208
  • Published : May 16, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
By: Asma Irshad474-BSSE-F07|

PEI-Term paper| Ethical issues in Google earth technology |

Table of Contents:
Introduction and Background2
Bright side3
Google Earth and Irish archeological landscapes 4
Google Earth potentials in the humanitarian sector 4
Google Earth as an Innovative Tool for Community Mapping 5
Dark side6
Google earth and National security6
Google earth and personal privacy6
Analysis of survey8
My opinion8
Appendix-Questionnaire Survey12

Ethical Issues in Google earth technology
The purpose of this paper is to throw light upon the merits and ethical demerits of Google earth technology. For many years, Google earth images have been largely used by the developed countries. This visualization tool of public and private places has brought some serious security and privacy concerns for governments as well as ordinary citizens. On the contrary, its positive aspects can’t be neglected. This paper is a comprehensive analysis covering all the perspective of multiple people of different schools of thought. Background:

Google announced to launch Google Earth on Jun 28, 2005 [1] - an opportunity to access imaginary satellite photographs of 3D-buildings and other things as well. It enabled general public to have detailed view of any point of interest. This type of technology came in hand to government entities but it was first example of such technology that was used by private companies too for commercial uses. After the launch of Google earth, Google provided the integration of Google maps and street view and its scope widened around the world. It collected snapshots of various things by a 360 degree camera either located in driving car or top of the buildings. People started to use these images for informative as well as chilling purposes. Hence, these photographic images associated with Google earth program raised much controversy among the governments, lawyers and scholars around the world. Governments of developed countries tried to restrict the usage of images to which Google earth gave access. Lawsuits, commissions and statements have been developed to regulate all privacy and ethical concerns regarding Google earth photography [2]. Google earth started to create risks of personal safety as it offers its images to anyone-sometimes at a very high resolution. Several incidents were reported where Google earth images were involved in privacy invasion and stalking people. It raised several ethical questions on privacy. Is it ethical to invade someone’s life without his/her consent? Everyone is now in fear of being watched, as its images are accessible to anyone. Anyone can use these images for false means. Although it has some practical benefits but privacy once lost cannot be restored. Over the many years, debates have been started between scholars and lawyers whether the Google earth should be allowed to use by general public or it should have some limitations or completely banned [1]. Various points of views

On bright side:
Google earth has opened the doors of many commercial and consumer applications by addressing privacy concerns. According to Google, it addresses the individual’s privacy issues. Satellite and aerial images are accessible to commercial entities now. The access of private information to general public is entirely a new thing. Google earth provides blurred images of sensitive places like white house and pentagon. And it also resists the request to such blurred images. Some proprietary images are provided only for commercial uses [2]. Tax authorities are using Google earth to crack down against people who have made illegal properties and are not paying taxes. Even police stations are using this technology for law enforcement activities as it is helping to locate criminals [3]. The commercial applications of satellite images provided by Google earth include its usage in assessing and planning city growth by land...
tracking img