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Posts Tagged ‘privacy concerns’

Just read this report about a town in New York using Google Earth to locate homes with pools that may not be licensed:

A town on New York’s Long Island is using Google Earth to find backyard pools that don’t have the proper permits.  The town of Riverhead has used the satellite image service to find about 250 pools whose owners never filled out the required paperwork.  Violators were told to get the permits or face hefty fines. So far about $75,000 in fees has been collected.

This also reminds me of how agencies are using GPS software to track their vehicle fleet, and are finding either gross misuse that is a firing offense, or are seeing dramatic reductions in waste:

Islip saved nearly 14,000 gallons of gas over a three-month period from the previous year after GPS devices were installed. Nolan said that shows that employees know they are being watched and are no longer using Islip’s 614 official vehicles for personal business.

I find this very funny, partly because of the “privacy concerns” that immediately get brought up.  But the fact is, that the behavior is wrong and people are being caught doing something illegal, or against regulation, and yet they will sue and complain about privacy concerns.  I definitely am not in favor of my life being tracked and detailed… but I also tend to think that if I am doing something wrong that is my fault, not the person who found me out.  So while I would like to have small and limited government, I’ve also never had a problem with wire-tapping or vehicle searches and such – because, if you’ve got nothing to hide then what’s the problem?  The CIA or whoever can listen to as many of my cellphone conversations as they like… they just might be bored is all.

I’m not trying to come across as perfect here by any means.  If my work computer were monitored, or my daily schedule recorded there would certainly be mismanagement or misuse revealed… or lots and lots of fantasy football at least.  But that again is my issue I would have to worry about.  I certainly don’t wish to create laws where a private company or government agency isn’t able to keep their employees or citizens accountable.

That said… I would much rather that the pool regulations didn’t exist in the first place.

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