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Man Claims Google Street View Led Burglars To Target His Home

Google Street View

Huffington Post   First Posted: 06/12/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 05:05 PM ET

Google Street View, the Google Map feature that gives users a 360-degree view of public roads, has been the subject of much debate since it launched in 2007. The European Union in particular has repeatedly raised questions about privacy violations and has even ordered Google to remove original Street View photos within six months of posting.

One individual asserts Google Street View shows far too much. Gordon Rayner, 52, of England, believes his house was targeted by burglars after Google Street View published photos of his home that show Rayner standing next to his open garage, its contents on display.

"When you look at the photograph, my face is blacked out, the windows of my house are blacked out but because the garage door was left open, you can clearly see everything in there," Rayner told the Telegraph. "I would argue that they should have blacked that out. It is just an invitation for any criminal to take what they like."

Rayner reports that the first night a robbery occurred, March 12, burglars entered Rayner's garage and stole a mountain bike, allegedly visible in the Street View photograph. The second and third break-in attempts also targeted the garage, but both were unsuccessful.

According to the Telegraph, an unnamed Google spokesman has responded to Rayner's allegations by saying that Street View reveals as much or as little information as one would gain by walking down the street in real time. "We've now launched Street View in around 20 countries," the spokesman continued, "and nowhere has there been any increase in crime as a result."

But that didn't stop residents of a burglary-prone village from blocking the Google Car's entrance into their neighborhood last week. "This is an affluent area," one resident told the London Times. "We've already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it's an invitation for more criminals to strike.

Police are currently investigating Raynor's claim.

Google Street View has been known to capture surprising antics. Check out photos of the craziest Google Street View shots ever.

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