Last week saw the release of iOS 6, and with it Apple’s new map software. After 5 years of using Google Maps, Apple have turfed the service out in favor of their own map software. Shortly thereafter, we learnt that Apple were going to use its own fleet of “military-grade spy planes” to
take over the world photograph earth in high detail to provide images for its map service.
The planes are capable of four-inch resolution (each pixel on your screen will represent 4 inches on the ground), and they can see through your windows. This has recently raised concern amongst government officials, particularly from Apple’s old friend Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). In a statement released yesterday, he said:
“People should be free from the worry of some high-tech peeping Tom technology violating one’s privacy when in your own home. Detailed photographs could also provide criminals and terrorists with detailed views of sensitive utilities, however,if highly detailed images become available, criminals could create more complete schematic maps of the power and water grids in the United States. With the vast amount of infrastructure across the country, it would be impossible to secure every location.”
Schumer has written directly to Tim Cook and Larry Page, asking them to “put protocols in place”, collaborating with relevant law enforcement and government agencies to ensure that sensitive information is kept safe. As far as sunbathing in your back garden goes, Schumer suggested that Apple and Google should; inform communities of when they are going to be under surveillance; give property owners the right to not take part in the initiative; and blur out images of individuals.
Are Schumer’s concerns well placed? Or is he just making mountains out of mole-hills? Leave your comments below as always!