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.
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?