Thursday, August 9, 2007

Google's new Case The Joint program

Google's Streetview provides a useful service - it shows you pictures of where you're going. Despite privacy questions, there is definitely a benefit to knowing what the building you're looking for looks like.

Now Google is introducing a program called the Google Local Business Referral program. You can become a representative and...

As a Google Business Referral Representative, you'll visit local businesses to collect information (such as hours of operation, types of payment accepted, etc.) for Google Maps, and tell them about Google Maps and Google AdWords. You'll also take a few digital photos of the business that will appear on the Google Maps listing along with the business information.
(Emphasis mine)

If you've ever done physical security evaluations, you know that having a good excuse to get in and take pictures is very handy. Well, here's a great opportunity - and you can get paid for it afterwards.

Is that a bit paranoid? Possibly. Will we see a rash of people noting that you can case the premises using Google's data? Also possible. The important thing is - does it increase risk? Yes - for some businesses such as banks and other high security locations that don't want the general public to be able to check where their security cameras are by doing a Google search. Those same risks exist with a camera phone carrying public, but those require physically visiting the location.

Just be careful when someone knocks on your door and mentions that they're with Google Houseview...

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