Google, the biggest search engine in the world, has been accused of invading privacy. The company has been subjected to criticism in the past, but the current object of scorn is its new program Google Earth.
The program, which makes it possible to see the world through satellite images, is coming under fire for putting peopleâ€™s private lives in the digital domain.
Google Earth was accused of violating privacy rights in episodes that some would consider voyeurism. While a middle-aged man was sunbathing on his balcony, he was caught by one of the Google Earth users. A photograph taken by the user was published on the Internet. After a while, photos of women that were taken secretly were published on the Google Earth Forum. A Dutch woman was sunbathing on the roof of her house in the Hague. Photos of many people, taken secretly, began to be published on the Internet.
Google Earth officials needed to make a statement about increasing criticisms.
â€œRegarding the Google satellite images, national arrangements determine what is to be shown or not. We only take pictures which are commercially accessible, the ones that the public can reach easily,â€ they said.
Google had formerly been criticized for the software Web Accelerator. The company had been accused of taking peopleâ€™s personal information and sharing them with advertisers.
Rejecting the allegations, Google officials had said they had not thought up such a project, but they could consider it in the future.