Pittsburgh couple sues Google over Street View

Lawsuit claims that the company's mapping vans entered a private street to take photos and thereby "exposed plaintiff's private information to the public."


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A Pittsburgh couple is suing Google because photographs of their home are appearing on the company's street view service.

The lawsuit, filed in Allegheny County court on April 2, claims there was a private road sign on their street that Google should have honored. It claims that Google's "reckless conduct" has "exposed plaintiff's private information to the public."

Looking at the turnoff to Pittsburgh's Oakridge Lane on Google Street View, though, shows a street sign but no obvious private road warning--meaning that, perhaps, any sign didn't exist when the Google van drove by.

In addition, photographs of the house appear on the county's Web site, as well as the assessed value of Aaron and Christine Boring's home and the lot size.

In general, of course, photographs taken of homes from the public street (or the air) are perfectly legal and protected by the First Amendment's freedom of the press. Barbra Streisand learned this when she sued a California aerial-mapping site--but was forced instead to write a check to the defendants for $177,107.54 in legal fees and court costs. I wouldn't be too surprised if this lawsuit turns out much the same way.

 

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