New 3D Mapping Technology Comes at a Price: Your Privacy


Imagine laying out in the privacy of your own backyard while airplanes are overhead, secretly filming you.

Well, no need to imagine.  Google and Apple have employed “hi-tech mapping airplanes” fashioned with military-grade cameras to produce aerial images of towns, cities, and your own home.  According to the Daily Mail, these high tech cameras will be able to film through windows and anywhere else on any type of property for the sake of new and improved virtual maps.

How is this any different from Google Earth, you might ask?

Unlike Google Earth, which utilizes satellite imaging, these privacy-infringing cameras are said to be similar to those used by the military.   They can be installed onto airplanes, helicopters, and drones.  The photographs can be taken at a height of 1,600 ft., and are capable of photographing objects that are merely just four inches wide.  Additionally, these “spy planes” allow for high quality and detailed imaging of…anything.

“Google has admitted to having sent planes over cities, while Apple has acquired a firm using spy-in-the-sky technology that has been tested on at least 20 locations, including London.”

We seem to think 3D maps are cool and convenient, right?  We can see our own house, our neighbor’s house, even a town on the other side of the globe.  We can virtually visit any country on the planet without ever having touched feet to ground.  If we drive into uncharted territory, we can just whip out our iPhones and open a map app.  The world has become smaller with social media marketing sites like Facebook bringing different cultures together without ever having to meet.

Like any new technology, the good is sometimes outweighed by the bad. At what cost will these aerial spies come?  Will we forfeit our own physical privacy with the adaptation of these spy planes?  What do you think?

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