Google Sued for Displaying "Boring" House on Google Maps Street View
The Smoking Gun is reporting that Aaron and Christine Boring of Pittsburgh are suing Google for “intentional and/or grossly reckless invasion” of privacy because their luxurious Pittsburgh home is viewable on the internet through Google Maps' Street View feature.
In the suit, the Borings allege that they bought their house -- which has two garages and a swimming pool -- in 2006 “for a considerable sum of money” and that a significant factor in their purchase decision was "a desire for privacy.” Unfortunately for the Borings, when Pittsburgh was added to the cities covered by Google Maps’ Street View feature, the Borings' home became viewable to the whole world. The Borings allege that this has caused them mental suffering and has diminished the value of their home, and they have requested $25,000 in damages.
According to WSJ Law Blog:
A Google spokeswoman issued the following statement:
There is no merit to this action. It is unfortunate litigation was chosen to address the concern because we have visible tools, such as a YouTube video, to help people learn about imagery removal and an easy-to-use process to facilitate image removal.
As a matter of policy, imagery for Street View is taken in public streets and what any person can readily capture or see in the public domain. Street View is a popular, engaging feature that allows people to easily find, discover, and plan activities relevant to a location.
According to Techtree.com, "While Google is believed to be reviewing the suit, the pictures now stand removed from their Web site."
WSJ Law Blog (April 4, 2008)
PointOfLaw.com (April 7, 2008)
Law.com (April 7, 2008)