While Google may be working with Verizon to make sure that the Internet remains open, that’s not stopping them from getting entangled in a terrifying story involving Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and invading people’s privacy. But, considering it involves Google Maps, Street View, and crazy little gadgets flying around photographing updated images of all things public, why wouldn’t it freak people out? No fear though, as Google has responded, and said they aren’t using spy drones to take pictures.
News recently broke that Google was working with a German manufacturer, one Microdones, to supply UAVs to the search engine juggernaut, to help the company augment their Maps and Street View applications with more precise images. Due to the fact that Micrdrones has supplied UAVs to the British police and Special Forces, the fact that the company reportedly claimed they had sold some UAVs to Google got everyone up in arms. According to the publication Wirtschafts Woche, Microdrones’ CEO Sven Juerses said that the drones they provided to Google would be an excellent way to snag up-to-the-minute images for Google’s map applications.
Google, in their reply to the claims, says that the company is always working on new technologies for their products; finding ways to better their applications, especially ones that are as broadly used as Google Maps and Street View, is a main priority. However, they were sure to note that utilizing UAVs did not fit into the plans, and that they are not using them. Additionally, the Google representative added that Google does not have any business dealings with Microdrones. So, that means that Google probably bought a UAV to fly around the Google complex, and nothing more. It also means that we don’t have to worry about a Google-branded UAV flying down in front of our house, snapping photos. And that’s a good thing.