Couple sue Google for invading privacy with Street View

Lawsuit claims Google Street View invades privacy of Pittsburgh couple because it shows images of their home located on a clearly marked private road.

Updated 3:20 p.m. PDT: Added Google saying the suit is without merit.

From the I-can't-believe-it-took-this-long file, a couple in Pittsburgh has sued Google claiming that the Street View on Google Maps is a reckless invasion of their privacy.

In the lawsuit filed Wednesday, Aaron and Christine Boring say they bought their home in late 2006 partly because of its secluded location on a street that is "clearly marked with a 'Private Road' sign."

Google Street View was expanded to Pittsburgh in October. The Borings found that their home was clearly visible on the map, causing them "mental suffering" and diluting their home value, according to the suit. They are seeking more than $25,000 in damages and asking that the images of their home be taken off the site and destroyed.

A Google spokesman said there is no merit to the lawsuit. "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 image removal, and an easy-to-use process to facilitate any such request," he said.

Ironically, the Borings have subjected themselves to even more public exposure by filing the lawsuit, which includes their home address, notes The Smoking Gun site, which first reported the lawsuit. In addition, the Allegheny County's Office of Property Assessments includes a photo of the home on its Web site, according to the blog post.

Concerns over invasion of privacy have been discussed since Google first released Street View in May.

Shortly after launching the product Google decided to remove recognizable faces and license plates when people request it, which quelled some complaints. The Street View photos are taken in the public domain, which is considered fair game. My colleague Declan McCullagh has more on that .

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Don't Miss
Hot Products
Trending on CNET

Hot on CNET

CNET's giving away a 3D printer

Enter for a chance to win* the Makerbot Replicator 3D Printer and all the supplies you need to get started.