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Google Sued by the Borings for Invasion of Privacy

Internet giant Google has been sued by Aaron and Christine Boring for taking photographs of their property for Google Maps Street View feature. The problem is that the photos were taken from a private road.

Google%20StreetView%20Flikr.jpgFor those who have not yet experienced Google Street View it is a feature of Google maps that allows users to actually “visit” the street via the internet through photographs providing a 360 degree view.

Not all cities have this Google feature available yet, but the Boring’s property was included last year. The images are captured by a car similar to the one seen above with an array of cameras mounted to its roof.

Google spokesperson Larry Yu said that the company has a policy of only taking photos from public streets. He also said that concerned citizens can contact the company if they want a photo taken down. Yu added “”We absolutely respect that people may not be comfortable with some of the imagery on the site. We actually make it pretty easy for people to submit a request to us to remove the imagery.”

In this case, damages may be difficult to prove since Google is not the only place on the web showing an image of the Boring’s home. The Allegheny County real estate Web site has a photo, a description of the home and the couple’s name. The site contains similar information, including pictures, of nearly every property in the county.

The Smoking Gun has a copy of the photos (which are no longer on Google Streetview), a copy of the lawsuit (including the Boring’s home address) and a photo from the Allegheny County website.

At Sylvester Oppenheim & Linde we do not represent clients in frivolous lawsuits. If you have a legal problem, contact us and we will provide straight answers. There is never a charge for an initial consultation.