New Tech: Google Lust

In a rather different take on privacy policies, Google’s new Gorgeous Maps lets users
rate the attractiveness of bystanders caught in the maps’ street view images.

The service is a way for users to get to know the people in their area before
they move, and a facilitator for singles to branch out to others in their area,
reported Google CEO, comparing Gorgeous Maps to social connecting sites like
MissedConnections and LikeaLittle.

The service is fairly new; it was launched in New England in 2008 and only recently
expanded to the rest of the United States and to participating countries worldwide.
The service is primarily targeted at young men and women ages 18-27, and its pilot
program in New England celebrated an over-all positive reception.

“At first I wasn’t sure about strangers seeing photos of me,” admitted Maddi Kay,
a 24-year-old nursing student at Boston University, “but once I realized you could
vote on people’s hotness, I started getting into it.” Kay reports that she has enjoyed
time browsing for singles in the area in the hope of luring “some young gent into a
clingy relationship.”

While the majority of responses to Gorgeous Maps has been positive, it is also
facing a fair amount of criticism. “I am incredibly offended,” said 30-year-old
Eugenia Bates, a florist in Princeton, New Jersey. “I was really excited to see Google’s
Gorgeous Maps van drive towards my house! But when it got to my yard, it just sped
up! Apparently I’m too old or something!” Bates then excused herself to go feed her
thirty cats.

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