An Example of Google’s Street View Crossing The Privacy Line…?

Recently I wrote about the privacy implications of Google Street View after communicating with John Grogan (from Popular Science and Computer World) about this topic; see here and here.
Today I saw an ABC news video…

about how Google posted, for the world to see, a man in Australia laying, reportedly passed out, on his lawn.
When the man discovered it, Google removed the image.
Obviously, even though Google removed the image, it is still out there being circulated and viewed.
What happens on the Internet stays on the Internet.
What the news program didn’t report is that it was most likely against Australia’s privacy law to post this image of the man without first obtaining his permission. Did Google take down the image because they were being nice and sensitive, or because they had no choice but to remove it under the law?
Would they have taken down an image a individual in the U.S. found objectionable and invading upon privacy?
Most privacy laws throughout the world require that permission (consent) must be obtained before obtaining images of an individual, which is a form of personally identifiable information (PII).
The U.S. does not have such a law, that I know of, that would apply to this situation.
What amazes me is how many people who’ve talked to me about this don’t think that it is any big deal for Google…considered a cool and cutting edge technology company…to take these images in the U.S. and post them for the world to see. But, what if this was the U.S. government compiling these images and publicizing them in similar ways? Would many people and groups would be up in arms and protesting loudly about it? Based upon recent history, I would anticipate so.
So, a question to pose to you to think about…is it acceptable for an organization to do actions that appear to invade upon privacy if it is a widely popular and well-liked company, such as Google…but unacceptable if the organization is one such as the government?

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