Local Australian City Councils Abandon Use Of Google Earth To Monitor Building Permits, Unregistered Pets

Home remodeling without building permits is a popular pastime and cat-and-mouse game in the US, with homeowners trying to avoid increased taxation and building permit fees. Apparently that’s also true elsewhere in the world.

In a a couple of towns on the Australian island of Tasmania, city officials were using Google Earth and Maps “to monitor rate-payer compliance in terms of illegal home renovations, unfenced swimming pools, unregistered pets and unauthorized demolition.”

However the towns have since decided to abandon using the tools because of privacy concerns:

“Not trying to catch people out by spying on them and carrying out measures that destroy trust and privacy,” said local Mayor Adriana Taylor.

Rather they’ll monitor compliance and rules violations the old fashioned way — with people.

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Critics | Google: Earth | Google: Maps & Local | Legal: Privacy


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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