Its debut in Australia was greeted with epithets such as “creepy”, with some asserting that it amounts to “the single biggest breach of privacy in history”.
South Africans seem to be much more laid back about the whole thing and some are looking forward to using it as a house-hunting tool.
For better or for worse, Google Street View has reached the South African shores too. Find out how to use Street View and then proceed to play with the little orange manikin as you explore Google Maps SA at street level.
Itâ€™s not likely thatâ€™s youâ€™ll find juicy details like your employee entering a restaurant at the precise time when heâ€™s supposed to be sick in bed. After an incident or two of similar nature in the initial phases, Goole Street View now makes sure that all faces and vehicle licence plates are blurred out â€“ though some mishaps still do occur. However, currently a bigger problem is the fact that the Google Street View cars have gathered (without meaning to, they say) information from unsecured Wi-Fi networks in several European countries, Australia and New Zealand.
It should be emphasised that, with or without Street View vans, you better make sure that your wireless and ADSL internet channel is secured. If it is not, you risk having your private emails and web browsing habits broadcast to anyone in your neighbourhood (not to mention the risk of having your bandwidth stolen).
Image: bidorbuy premises as seen on Street View.