When it comes to a disguise, a good bush costume usually does the trick, or if there’s a car in question, you could always put an insurance company sticker on both sides and call it a day but never get caught. However, the Philadelphia Police Department disagree with these ideas and decided to come up with something a bit more clever: a Google Street View car.
This isn’t obviously the best way to let yourself be unseen, especially since the logos you printed out from your printer at home are outdated and so small. For comparison, here’s what a real Google Street View car looks like:
Of course, not everyone knows what this looks like and aren’t in to technology like some of us, so the disguise worked for the Philly police. It was believed before that this actually wasn’t their vehicle, however in a statement sent to Motherboard, the PPD confirmed that this surveillance SUV belonged to them:
We have been informed that this unmarked vehicle belongs to the police department; however, the placing of any particular decal on the vehicle was not approved through any chain of command. With that being said, once this was brought to our attention, it was ordered that the decals be removed immediately.
Another factor that added to the appearance of a Google Street View car was the two automated license plate recognition (ALPR) cameras mounted on its roof which can capture over a thousand license plate numbers every minute. This alongside the Google logos on the left and right sides of the car and you can trick any non-techy citizen that this is a genuine Street View SUV, however it clearly isn’t when compared to a real one.
Google did eventually find out about this indecent, and according to Neowin, the company is investigating the unauthorized use of their logos.