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Philadelphia had a fake Google Street View car

Ever seen one of Google’s Street View cars cruising your neighborhood? In Philadelphia, Motherboard‘s Dustin Slaughter reports, there was a vehicle with a Google Maps logo which was actually a police truck equipped with gear to automatically identify license plates at a distance—a technology used for everything from trailing criminals to issuing parking tickets. The … Continue reading “Philadelphia had a fake Google Street View car”

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Ever seen one of Google’s Street View cars cruising your neighborhood? In Philadelphia, Motherboard‘s Dustin Slaughter reports, there was a vehicle with a Google Maps logo which was actually a police truck equipped with gear to automatically identify license plates at a distance—a technology used for everything from trailing criminals to issuing parking tickets. The Philly police department has, um, copped to the subterfuge.

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The masquerade, it should be said, was amateurish: The truck didn’t look anything like a real Street View car, and its Google signage was brazenly inauthentic. But now that the ruse has been revealed, I wonder if folks will be permanently suspicious of any real Street View vehicles they encounter?

About the author

Harry McCracken is the technology editor for Fast Company, based in San Francisco. In past lives, he was editor at large for Time magazine, founder and editor of Technologizer, and editor of PC World.

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