Case against Googles Street View is dismissed
Written by Ben Evans on 24 February 2009« Return to Reading Room
A PIttsburgh couple that sued Google have had their claim thrown out.
Christine and Aaron Boring sued the internet search behemoth after photos of their home appeared on the free mapping program 'Street View'. The couple claimed that Google violated their privacy, were negligent, trespassed and unjustly enriched themselves.
However Judge Amy Reynolds Hay ruled that they: "failed to state a claim under any count".
Street View gives users street level, 360 degree photos of areas. The programs release was met with a great deal of controversy regarding security risks, it was for example believed that terrorists would use the program to plan attacks.
Judge Amy Reynolds Hay stated:
"While it is easy to imagine that many whose property appears on Google's virtual maps resent the privacy implications, it is hard to believe that any - other than the most exquisitely sensitive - would suffer shame or humiliation,..The Borings do not dispute that they have allowed the relevant images to remain on Google Street View, despite the availability of a procedure for having them removed from view".
"Furthermore, they have failed to bar others' access to the images by eliminating their address from the pleadings, or by filing this action under seal," she said.
"The plaintiffs [Claimants]' failure to take readily available steps to protect their own privacy and mitigate their alleged pain suggests to the Court that the intrusion and that their suffering were less severe than they contend,".
Google currently blur identifiable faces and licence plate numbers on top of which users are provided with tools to remove images from the program. A statement from Google said that "It is unfortunate the parties involved decided to pursue litigation instead of making use of these tools,".
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