Big Brother Explodes On Manchester

Google Street View car captured! I suspect this one's an American one becasue the UK cars are much, much smallerI was minding my own business on the M60 car park the other day when I noticed a tiny car zip by in the middle lane. The thing that caught my attention was that it had a large pole stuck vertically up on the roof to which were attached what looked like 4 cameras.

Then another few days later I saw a similar car driving through Blackley.

I noticed one of these same types of cars in London earlier this year when I was with a client. He explained that the cars had been used by Google to take images of every corner of London so they could create a virtual London anyone could “walk” through. The cars had then been taken by Ken Livingston (then Mayor of London) to help him with policing of the congestion charge and/or parking.

So it looks as though we’ll be able to walk through a virtual Manchester in due course.  Will the little cars be used to police the congestion charge I wonder?

It does all seem to be very Big Brother. Maybe George Orwell’s vision didn’t arrive in 1984. Maybe he was 24 years late in his prediction?

And then to cap it all I got caught by a mobile speed camera operating from one of those anonymous looking white vans!

A virtual Manchester is going to really help anyone looking for a house as they’ll be able to wander around the neighbourhood and see the shops, the schools and all the houses.

The only downside maybe Greater Manchester will adopt the cars for enforcement of everything – litter, jay walking, speeding, incorrect parking, congestion charging .

Is the next step to equip everyone with a pair of glasses with cameras on them to record everything you do to see if you break the law? Interesting times…

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About Jim Symcox

Manchester is great. At Manchester University I take part in Gilbert & Sullivan productions each year. I'm a Manchester-based business growth coach and marketing evangelist and like to help companies grow more profitable, more quickly.
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