One of the largest concerns about Google Street View, a concern echoed here now that the search giant continues to collect the photos they need to roll out a comprehensive street-level map of our city, is privacy. What if Google catches you with someone you don’t want people to know you were with? What if Google catches you coming out of somewhere you don’t want people to know you were inside? Or what if Google catches you in one of your lesser moments: throwing up at the side of the road, say, or, God forbid, appearing to break the law, your image preserved online for all eternity? Sure, faces and licence plates will get automatically blurred out, but that feature has proven a bit dodgy, and someone’s face and licence plate aren’t the only way to identify them.
So it is with some joy that we present to you a photo of one of Google’s elusive but conspicuous Street View cars caught doing something it probably didn’t want to get caught doing—gliding through a set of red lights at Adelaide and Yonge. Shot last Thursday by Torontoist reader (and Autoshare CEO) Kevin McLaughlin, the pictured sedan is just one car in Google’s fleet currently being stalked all around town while those cars shoot our streets. With its brake lights on, the perpendicular traffic lights glowing green, and the pedestrians safely waiting to cross from the corners, the car seemingly didn’t blow through the intersection as much as it confusedly wandered into it. Maybe it was lost!? We heard there’s some kind of cool new mapping thing that’ll help with that in the future.