When the founder of Urthecast came to visit the class, I was surprised at the fact that he was so confident about his business venture. He believed that it was a profitable investment and that the company’s target audience would be the government and news reporting companies. The government would purchase high resolution photographs and videos of disasters happening in real time and the news agencies would buy photographs to put on the front page.
However, since Urthecast offers their services for free to anyone who visits their website, a question immediately popped into my head: Wouldn’t there be a social and ethical concern regarding privacy?
In David Kuo’s blog posted a year ago (2012), he commented upon privacy concerns of Urthcast. He stated that people can be focused on and zoomed in, hence invading one’s privacy. A year later (2013), when Urthecast returned to Sauder, they mentioned that the newly designed video cameras do not have the ability to zoom in and even the most zoomed in effect would not allow the cameras to catch licence plates of cars. I guess Urthecast did encounter some ethical issues and changed parts of their original ideas.