ANYONE WHO HAS USED Google Maps recently has undoubtedly taken a look at their "Street View" feature, which allows one to view a street-level picture of the destination where one is traveling. This can be rather helpful if a traveler has never been to his destination before, as knowing what a particular building looks like can be a lifesaver.
But Pittsburgh residents Aaron and Christine Boring -- yes, Boring -- do not think the "Street View" feature is helpful. You see, they recently bought a house for $163,000 in the Steel City, and a big reason they did so was because the house was secluded, according to court papers. The house is located on a clearly-marked private road and has a fifty-foot right of way. Perhaps understandably, the Borings were not pleased to learn that Google's camera squads drove by their house and took bunches of pictures of it. Not so understandably for a privacy-seeking couple, the Borings filed a lawsuit against Google. Since Google is Google, the suit has received much media attention and is now linked on the Drudge Report.
The Borings' attorney claims in the lawsuit -- which is available on The Smoking Gun's Web site -- that the couple have suffered "mental suffering" and that Google's actions have "diminished the value of their property." As a result, they want Google to scrub the pictures from their Web site. Oh, and monetary damages.
I will leave it to others to discuss whether the Borings' case is justified, although I myself wonder if they might have a case. I mean, if your lawn looked like this, wouldn't you be mortified to have that on the Internet?Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 4, 2008 08:40 PM | TrackBack