The Buckinghamshire village of Broughton has, for the time being, been spared the attentions of Google's all-seeing Street View, after locals repelled the advance of one of the search monolith's Orwellian black Opels.
According to the Milton Keynes Citizen, "mutinous householders" mobilised on Wednesday as the spycar prepared to violate their privacy, forming a human chain to block its path and verbally laying into the driver to suggest he take a hike.
Resistance leader Paul Jacobs explained: “I was upstairs when I spotted the camera car driving down the lane. My immediate reaction was anger; how dare anyone take a photograph of my home without my consent? I ran outside to flag the car down and told the driver he was not only invading our privacy but also facilitating crime.”
Jacobs then roused other residents, who blocked the road. The good burghers of Broughton also called the police, but before they could arrived, the snoopmobile's operative decided to call it a day.
Jacobs concluded: “This is an affluent area. We’ve already had three burglaries locally in the past six weeks. If our houses are plastered all over Google it’s an invitation for more criminals to strike. I was determined to make a stand, so I called the police.”
A Google spokeman told the Citizen that householders were "entitled" to request their properties be removed from Street View, but "only after the picture has appeared".
The Citizen notes that because the driver of the vehicle was on public land, and because Street View "blurs out any faces and number plates", he wasn't breaking any law. We have more analysis of the illegality or otherwise of the UK's Street View here. ®
Thanks to Peter Stiles for the Citizen tip.