Are there any boundaries for Google?

After an eerie dawn, you wake up, put on your clothes and rub the sleep from your eyes. You think to kiss your significant other, then, wait, no. You go to the bathroom and start to shave.

It’s always on your mind: you are not alone. You’re being watched. Big brother, as it were, is keeping his gaze fixed on all of his loving citizens.

It’s for their own safety, after all.

This reaction, or something like it, has been that of many when asked about Google’s new “Streetview” feature for their Maps application.

While the new Google application does not necessarily lead to reminiscence of 1984, the slippery slope phenomenon may be in play.

The result? A revolutionary new way to look at the world – a revolution we’re a bit worried about.

Streetview is a system that would fasten a camera to a car, and drive it along America’s streets to get a view of neighborhoods and municipal layouts.

The taping would be a one-time event, but the footage would be stored permanently on Google’s massive servers.

Thus, anything captured in the photograph will be stored for anyone who may be curious. Whether the person is a government official, a stalker or salesman, Google is impartial.

Attentions have been fixed, however, on some of the more stalker-like aspects of the application.

A woman was profiled in The New York Times, for example, complaining because she found her own home on Streetview, and could plainly see her cat sitting in the window.

If Streetview can show this much detail, then what else, besides cat-watching, might it be used for? It may be, we fear, yet another tool for the stalker’s handbag.

In this particular instance concerning Google, we believe that a cost/benefit analysis could easily be employed to determine whether this feature should be employed at all.

However, could it be the case that the benefits of Streetview outweigh our concerns for privacy? We are not quite convinced yet.

For now, our hearts go out to those who will actually have to physically – not wirelessly – travel to a street to see it. We know your sacrifice is huge. After all, there is nothing like actually examining the neighborhood for your potential new home.

Can the scent, the feel of beauty be conveyed electronically?