If you think it’s just one among the numerous search engines that landscape the Internet and help you search for what you’re looking for, well, you couldn’t be more wrong – Google, to put it mildly, is a search engine giant. And going a little overboard, you could say that it sets the standard for search engines, in terms of quality, innovation, efficiency, and continued improvement. I think it’s a safe bet to assume that more than 90 percent of Internet users depend on Google for their daily forays down the information highway. So you would think that this search engine is probably the best friend for anyone who is searching for tips and information on photography, ranging from tricks of the trade to the best schools that teach this subject.
But there is a darker side to Google, as most opponents of this dotcom giant’s controversial venture, Google Street View, will tell you. They’re sick and tired of all the “snooping” that they think Google is doing and are protesting against the invasion of their privacy. Google sends out its camera cars, which are equipped with revolving cameras that are fitted on the top of the vehicles, into random neighborhoods across certain countries of the world and then puts up these images on its website. While some people do like searching for their homes and themselves on this application, there are others who are aghast at this blatant invasion of privacy.
Of course, Google does argue that the faces and other sensitive information like number plates of vehicles are blurred out, but that does not stop people from recognizing you or deter thieves from scanning neighborhoods using this application before they hit it. If you don’t like what you see, you can certainly have it removed, says Google’s privacy policy, but when people have already seen what you don’t want them to see, why go to all the trouble of trying to remove the evidence?
Now this high profile candid camera has ruined the good name of many a photographer who is just randomly shooting pictures of streets and people for their own reasons, especially when they’re of places that are famous as vacation haunts or which have historical significance – people become suspicious immediately and are at your throat threatening to take away your equipment.
But, Google does have its advantages too – Google Earth is a useful tool if you’re a wildlife photographer who is looking to research the availability of animals in the location where you’re headed for a shoot.
As with any technology, Google too is a friend or foe depending on how it’s used – the more wisely we use it, the more benefits we gain.
This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of photography colleges . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: adrienne.carlson1@gmail.com

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