Privacy Commish gets Google panties in a bunch

Google to show your bits on the Internet
Not content with mapping the entire planet via satellite, Google has launched a ground-level service in the U.S. which allows users to eyeball streets as if they were actually standing on them. The service isn’t available yet in Canada, but the nation’s privacy commissioner Jennifer Stoddart is already rankling at the notion. She claims that sticking a Canadian in a street-level photo, i.e. one where that person could easily recognized, may be in discord with our federal privacy regulation, PIPEDA.

-If you’re snapped by Google, there are provisions that would allow you to have your image removed from the service, but Stoddart says it’s too late by then and our delicate Canadian sensibilities would have already been offended. I think Stoddart is being a little over-sensitive on this issue. If a tourist accidentally takes your picture when trying to get a decent shot of a majestic Canadian moose – no mean feat – is he flouting our privacy laws? Where do we draw the line here? Until Google invents an X-ray camera that turns unwitting Canadians into nudie models, perhaps we should relax a little.

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eBay stinks
There’s something fishy going on at eBay. L’Oreal, purveyor of fine toilet water, has raised a stink that the site is allowing sellers to peddle fake versions of its products. The company has filed suit against eBay in five European countries where the ersatz fragrances are being sold. To my knowledge, eBay hasn’t responded yet, but I’m sure they’re on the case. After all, they’ve already banned the sale of human breast milk and firearms, so surely fake perfume can’t be far behind. Here’s a list of other items they’ve had to ban in the past. (Remember, if they’ve banned it that means that someone at some point has tried to sell it. Weep for the human race at your leisure.)

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The skinny on Sony
In a global game of Nyah-nyah Nyah-nyah-nyah, it’s the first to blink who loses*. In this case, it may be Samsung. The electronics company called out its rival Sony over claims that it could deliver an ultra-thin (3mm, to be precise) 11-inch screen. Sony has responded, saying such an item will be available in Japan later this year. I’m not sure anyone needs a screen so thin you’ll lose it if you turn sideways, but you have to hand it to Sony for trying. After all, they’re getting their collective asses handed to them in the latest wave of the console wars, so it’s comforting that the company can still claim bragging rights over something.

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* Well, I’m not sure if those are the official rules, but we’ll leave that one up to the IOC.

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