Pierre Poilievre v. Google - Macleans.ca

Pierre Poilievre v. Google

Conservative MP calls on Google CEO to defend street cameras


Pierre Poilievre v. GoogleThe Conservative files a motion asking Google CEO Eric Schmidt to appear in Ottawa and account for Street View.

“We would like to have Google present its case. We would like to hear counter arguments from privacy advocates and, at the end of it all, we will be reporting to government and recommending action,” said Poilievre.

“There are some questions that we have,” he said. “For instance, is there going to be a mass database of people’s images? What are the benefits to Canada of allowing this to occur?”


Pierre Poilievre v. Google

  1. Very interesting. I may be mistaken but I think that this is the first time that Google’s CEO will have to account for the privacy aspects of Streetview in such a public way. Personally I have used Streetview for some US cities and I find it a useful tool, but I have always wondered about its privacy implications.

    • I have no problem with streetview and I live in Chicago… I find it kind of handy, though I don’t think Poilievre is completely out of line with his questions.

    • I find it kinda weird that people think they have a right to privacy while walking about out on a public street. If I take a picture of a street and you happen to be in it, well, too bad. However if Google does it it’s some big problem?

      I kinda expect in a few years to see pictures in the newspapers of huge crowds at some event, with every single face in the crowd blurred out for “privacy reasons”.

      • I agree with this line of logic completely – but I guess it’s not a black and white issue.

      • I follow your line of logic, but what if, for example, you are being stalked?
        Or have an abusive partner who doesn’t want you to leave the house?

      • There’s a conceptual distinction between privacy and personal information which our laws try to take into account. You don’t have a right to privacy in public but you do have a right to have personal information from being used in an exploitative and abusive manner. So, it shouldn’t matter if someone’s face appears by chance in one of your photos but it would matter if you used that image to harass, embarrass or otherwise use the information recorded there in a manner that the possessor of the personal information would object to.

        See the difference?

        • Yes.
          It just seems to me that tools like these make harassment easier and easier.

          • My comment was a response to Lord Kitchener’s Own.

        • Not so.
          The concept of it being illegal for taking a photo of someone without getting their consent has already been tested in court.
          That in part is why red light cameras had such a problem getting approval. The police had to in essence – revert to taking photos of the vehicle – like the 407 – and then charge the offence to the registered owner – not the driver.
          You have “the right to be left alone” – which means – among other things – that you DON’T have to opt for the Enhanced Drivers licence that Ontario (and other provinces) are coming up with if you don’t want to.
          You CONSENT to having this biometric and photo version IF you wish to use it to cross the border.

  2. public is public is public is public is not private.

    This is entirely embarrassing.

    let’s go back to the dark ages….I note the PM has hired two Evangelical extremists to important positions on his staff.

  3. Dear Conservative – I don’t want to frighten you – but there are quite a number of PRC citizens already here in Canada – ostensibly attending Secondary Education facilities etc.
    I don’t think Minister Kenney, MP Poilievre or anyone else had time to check their Christian credentials.
    More to the point – Mr. Poilievre is about a year behind the times – the Privacy Commissioner of Canada – Jennifer Stoddart – effectively prevented Google’s Streetview form being implemented in Canada until such time as Google had cooperated and implemented some privacy enabling techniques.
    Mr. Poilievre should stay awake during Privacy and Ethics committee meetings.

    • I think the other committee members prefer him asleep.

  4. You are a fool.

    • I think he’s more of a sock puppet controlled by a certain someone who actually has a visceral hatred of all things “conservative”.

      • Surely not?

      • I think Jonathan McKinnel should look at the IP logs for this guy.

      • A visceral hatred of rationality.

      • I made a joke about ol’ “c” being a leftist agitator in disguise in a previous post.

        Probably not, but the extremists on either wing tend to make the other side’s arguments more convincing.

  5. Sadly, I can’t lament the passing of your old pen name (which I much preferred btw) as one can no longer post with “LAF” even in the body of a post.

    “conservative” is just too pedestrian, imho.

  6. Do Christians always hire Christians?

  7. I have to laugh or I’ll cry.

  8. Christians are informed by the story of Babel and oppose bilingualism


    Wow. Some biblical stories are, admittedly, complex and open to multiple interpretations, but the the story of Babel, I would have thought, is entirely too simple and straightforward for someone to have missed the point so completely!

    • Sad thing is this guy gives Christians a bad name; i know i few good Christians that would have nothing to do with this twit.

      • The rants posted by “conservative” are in fact brilliant satire, authored by a left-leaning artist who has developed a very good understanding of how right-wing extremists think, after spending years trolling right-wing blogs.

        “conservative” is the ultimate straw man.

  9. I sure hope he doesn’t get in the way of getting Streetview in Canada. The service is fantastic and I hope we get to have it for our canadians cities.

    • Woohoo!! Censoring Google!! Not only have we outsourced all our manufacturing jobs to China, we are now outsourcing our legislative functions them as well. Way to go Party Chairman Harper!!

      Sorry, got a little carried away by this whole pretend-to-argue-for-the-other-side schtick.

      Now onto stimulating our economy by melting our steel tools & implements into useless lumps of slag!! We won’t need Streetview; under Chairman Harper’s bold scientific leadership we will soon have the technology to teleport anywhere in the country.

      • Since when did “blurring the image of some old guy sitting on his balcony in Streetview” become “censorship?”. Sheesh. Way to exaggerate.

  10. You’re right, CR, this guy is brilliant. Rick Mercer?

    • Nope, this guy is more of a fringe artist. If we heard his real name I’m sure we wouldn’t recognize it.

    • Oooh, new talent emerges! I told you, I told you, CR, that we were living on the eve of the next great satirical age in this country. What a privilege to watch a new flower in the act of opening — appropriately, as Spring itself begins to stir. Watch out, Rick, there’s a new act in town!

    • Not so much an age of satire as an age of the surreal, isn’t it?

    • Good point, John.K. For me, ydok was the great Dadaist, and this LAF fellow is emerging as the Surrealist who takes up the torch — surgically exposing the right-wing id, the nightmare, the delirious womb. André Breton captured him perfectly: “Pure psychic automatism by which it is intended to express, either verbally or in writing, the true function of thought. Thought dictated in the absence of all control exerted by reason, and outside all aesthetic or moral preoccupations.”

    • Perhaps he channels Arman?

    • Jack, that was a fascinating quotation by André Breton, but I would argue that the artist formerly known as LAK is attempting to subvert aesthetic or moral preoccupations, rather than to function outside of those boundaries.

    • Oops, I meant the artist formerly known as LAF. It’s hard to keep track of all these pseudonyms.

    • You’re right, CR, he’s very much in-your-face. We should follow TAFKALAF’s progress with a critical eye.

    • I think it’s time for you to come back as your original incarnation. Some of us miss you. I’m sure Wells has forgiven you for all of that lèse-majesté stuff, as long as you promise to tone it down a little.

    • “Satire is for tenured CBC comedians, I don’t see the need for it in today’s world.”

      This guy is such a great satirist, he satirises satire itself. He has a great gift. Conservatives will never recover from his onslaught.

    • I found the appropriate Arman quotation, John.K — which I think locates TAFKALAF firmly in the Surrealist camp:

      “In the search for a new creation…I have in a conscious manner explored my own local district for rubbish, waste, and scrapped manufactured goods: in a word, everything that is non-utilized. I affirm that the very expression of this rubbish and these objects has a distinctive worth of its own, without any attempt, on my part, at aesthetic arrangements that might make them lose their intrinsic value.”

      To me, that speaks to the purity of TAFKALAF’s conservatism — by which I mean liberalism — by which I mean conservatism. It is 24-carat satiric surrealism.

    • Bingo, JM. This GUY is a genuine atist.

    • By which of course, I mean Artist….

    • Les Poubelles, bien sur!

    • wait… you guys think conservative is … who exactly?

  11. Wow, according to conservative above, I get the gist that so-called Christian leader isn’t really that at all!
    Stephen Harper fails #s 1 (hires based on partisan quota), 4 (already tossing in the towel on both the economy and Afghanistan, nevermind the big white flag he ran up long ago on accountability), 5 (that big ode to quebec as a nation thing really wouldn’t have cut it with Steve Harper, mouthpiece to citizen’s coalition)… There are likely failing grade on #2 (again, he replaces people who don’t match up with his own quota; retains knumbsculls like Goodyear, Ritz and Oda when they are so out of their element)… maybe someone else can grade him on # 6?

    • Time to brush up on our pre-biblical proto-hebrew, which is what the pre-Babelians presumably spoke.

      Oops, I forgot — the Bible was written in American English.

  12. Atheism is just as bigotted as Believism: there really is only state of mind that is for sure and guaranted and that’s agnostic as you can neither prove nor disprove a divine being. The only real thing you can say is I don’t know for sure and that’s for sure!

  13. Google will remove a photo if requested by a person that is captured in one unwillingly, and uhh, compromisingly. I suspect it is a pretty infrequent request. No need to worry about the stalkers…I doubt anyone would comb through Google Earth on the off-chance someone they were looking for happened to cross-paths with the photo-vans…there are probably dozens of better ways.

    Montreal is being done even as we speak. If I were in government, I’d be more concerned that they did it just after the snow melted, when everything is absolutely filthy and trashy…bad for tourism!

    And ‘conservative’ while your troll was excellent in terms of content, perhaps it would have gotten more bites if you’d parcelled it out a bit more in successive posts, each more zany than the last…still, nice work though!

    BTW – if you read ‘conservative’s post, then got all upset and ‘just had to respond’…heh, well, you must be new…welcome to the internet, n00b.

  14. Poilievre is just being a crass (and shallow) politician. This looks like an attempt to protect himself from attacks by the pc crowd. Does he truly believe that stopping Google is a good thing? I doubt it.

    I use Streetview in Tokyo and it is an invaluable tool. Why anyone in Canada would want to stop this advance in technology is beyond belief.

    • “This looks like an attempt to protect himself from attacks by the pc crowd.”

      Seriously? Pollievre never struck me as a Mac guy.

  15. Wow, you guys really went off topic on this one.
    To put us back on the right path, here are a couple thoughts.

    1. Streetview rarely gives enough focus to actually identify a person. (They actually go to the trouble of blurring faces and license plates)
    2. The time from when the van that takes the pictures to when they get posted to google is probably significant enough that anyone trying to actually identify a person in a shot would have a hard time discerning what time frame that person was there. (i.e. It is not Live in anyway)


    • I’m not particularly concerned about Streetview, but I noticed an article on the Huffington site about a woman in Britain who is divorcing her husband. She spotted his vehicle (using Streetview) outside a woman’s house in the same city when he was supposed to be out of the country on business. His business, while not outside the country, was apparently outside the bounds of his marital contract.

      I think anonymity is a generally negative force in our society to begin with – maybe Streetview can reinject some village-style dynamics back into our lives. At any rate, we’re filmed continually as we go about our lives – often without knowing it. At least Streetview has the virtue of being public.