Camera Shy Minnesota Town Bans Google Maps Street View

Illustration for article titled Camera Shy Minnesota Town Bans Google Maps Street View

The townsfolk of North Oaks, Minnesota, want to be able to pick their nose, flash cars, conduct drug deals and fall down on the sidewalk without the whole world knowing about it, so they've forbidden Google Maps Streetview cars from crossing city limits. At least those are the only reasons I can think of as to why this quiet community of 4,500 would want to go all Wuher at Chulum's Cantina and ban Google's voyeuristic fleet of droid-like camera cars.


North Oaks can get away with this because all the roads in town are privately owned, with "No Trespassing" signs greeting visitors when they enter (apparently no packages are ever delivered to North Oaks — J.L.). When city officials noticed their streets on Google Maps Streetview in January, they filed a complaint with Google, which immediately took the offending images offline. The image above is as close as you can get to town when using Google to navigate the North Oaks area.

This isn't the first time Google's street level map service has encountered blowback from miffed privacy advocates. When it launched in 2007, complaints were filed regarding people's faces and license plates. Just recently Google began blurring the faces of pedestrians who were caught in the Web 2.0 crossfire.

And last month, a Pittsburgh family sued Google when one of its cars drove up the length of their private driveway and took pictures of their house. Who wouldn't want that in their community? [CNET News]


First off-Puss town man.


Its just a high end community in St. Paul MN where all the roads are owned by their residents. There are clear signs that states the roads are private and there is no trespassing allowed. This is a perfectly reasonable request.

re: (apparently no packages are ever delivered to North Oaks - J.L.

That's an idiotic comment. Businesses and homes frequently have special arrangements with UPS, Fedex, DHL, and USPS for delivery. My guess is that their packages get delivered more promptly than yours.

Wow somebodies a little angry. Don't take the comment so personal damn. And I for one hope that NONE of the packages ever get delivered and some freak earthquake/forest fire/[whatever act of God] levels the whole town =) .