Sir Fred hasn’t blamed Google Street View

With all the bad press Google Street View has been getting recently, with people claiming it invades their privacy, and leaves their homes vulnerable to criminals, I was slightly surprised not to see any sections of the media blaming it for aiding vandals who attacked the home of unpopular RBS banker Sir Fred Goodwin.

What’s even more surprising is that the images of Sir Fred’s home are still available on Street View, unlike many images which have been removed at the request of homeowners or passers-by. (It was easy to find thanks to some newspapers which gave the name of his street, unlike the BBC and the police, which even gave the wrong area of Edinburgh for the address.)

Sir Fred Goodwin's house on Street View

Compare with photos in the media.

As much as I’m unhappy with the size of the pension Sir Fred is to receive, I can’t agree with this sort of criminal activity at all. I doubt the people who attacked his home are interested in economics. They are unlikely to be RBS shareholders or even disgruntled employees of the bank. Most likely, they are just thugs, using the news story as an excuse to commit vandalism. They might think they are outraged by top bankers’ remuneration, but as is so often the case with people who take “direct action”, they are actually far more of a problem for society than the people or organisations they attack. For a start, thanks to the vandals, even more taxpayers’ money will now be wasted providing police protection for Sir Fred and his homes. Even given Sir Fred’s much publicised income, I think the perpetrators should be made to pay for every penny of the damage, as is the only fit punishment for vandals. The sooner they are caught the better, otherwise how soon until they attack the wrong house – Google Street View to help them or not?

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