Camera Shy Minnesota Town Bans Google Maps Street View

The townsfolk of North Oaks, Minnesota want to be able to pick their nose, flash cars, conduct drug deals and fall down on the sidewalk without the whole world knowing about it, so they've forbidden Google Maps Streetview cars from crossing city limits. At least those are the only reasons I can think of as to why this quiet community of 4,500 would want to go all Wuher at Chulum's Cantina and ban Google's voyeuristic fleet of droid-like camera cars.

North Oaks can get away with this because all the roads in town are privately owned, with "No Trespassing" signs greeting visitors when they enter (apparently no packages are ever delivered to North Oaks — J.L.). When city officials noticed their streets on Google Maps Streetview in January, they filed a complaint with Google, which immediately took the offending images offline. The image above is as close as you can get to town when using Google to navigate the North Oaks area.

This isn't the first time Google's street level map service as encountered blowback from miffed privacy advocates. When it launched in 2007, complaints were filed regarding people's faces and licence plates. Just recently Google began blurring the faces of pedestrians who were caught in the Web 2.0 crossfire.

And last month, a Pittsburgh family sued Google when one of its cars drove up the length of their private driveway and took pictures of their house. Who wouldn't want that in their community? [CNET News]

Trending Stories Right Now