deveverything

Um, huh? A couple in Pennsylvania is suing Google to the tune of $25K+ for “pain and suffering” after their house showed up on Google Street View. The house was purchased for $163,000 according to “The Smoking Gun“. So, this begs the question. Just how ugly is their house that it would cause that much pain and suffering?

From Boston.com:

Aaron and Christine Boring bought the home in Franklin Park, a Pittsburgh suburb, in October 2006 for a “considerable sum of money,” according to their 10-page lawsuit filed Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court.

“A major component of their purchase decision was a desire for privacy,” the lawsuit said.

The suit targets the company over images on its website, which allows users to find street-level photos by clicking on a map. To gather the photos, Google uses vehicles with mounted digital cameras to take pictures up and down the streets of major metropolitan areas.

The Borings say the images of their home on the Google site had to be taken from their long driveway, labeled “Private Road,” and that violated their privacy.

“There’s no merit to this action,” Google spokesman Larry Yu said. “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 imagery removal and an easy-to-use process to facilitate image removal.”

Yes, but, then they couldn’t have the chance to win the lottery if they had followed the steps.

Article Link (via slashdot)

[tags]Privacy, Google Sued, Google Street View[/tags]

Comments
  • Matt

    freakin stupid. Private road is a no trespassing sign, not a “no taking pictures” sign. And even so, you can still take pictures from a public access road. That’s how all kinds of pictures are leaked for concept cars, military activities, etc.

  • Jonathon

    I just discovered street view this morning.

    Considering that my house is located just 5 feet from the road, located near the end of a culdesac, and that the resolution is high enough that the exterior of three sides of my home are quite clearly defined, including nearly all means of ground level entry, my fundamental problem is one of security.

    Yes, anyone can walk or drive down the road and case my house, but in doing so, they open themselves to observation by me, my neighbors, and the authorities. That is, Google has,m in my view, provided potential criminals with a method for virtually “casing” my home. (By “casing, I mean investigating a property for the purposes of a future criminal activity, ie, robbery, assault, arson, etc.) Regardless of privacy concerns (which I also have, and which may or may not be moot), the issue of security is of tantamount importance.

    I haven’t seen the Google intrusion into the Pennsylvania couple’s property, (nor do I intend to seek it out), but if it’s anything like the one that I found for mine I would be sorely tempted to have added the concerns that I have briefly outlined above to that legal suit.

    Again, yes, anyone can walk or drive down a public road (or even private in certain cases), take photos, or otherwise investigate a property (as long as they don’t set foot on that property), but Google is providing a virtual method for doing so, and that, imo, is truly problematic to personal security and security of one’s personal property.

  • Dave Lewis

    @Jonathon

    It’s a sticky wicket to be sure. On the one hand you don’t want people taking pictures of your house. Then again any bored teen with an internet connection can case the Liquidmatrix office from space.

    It’s annoying but, I can’t agree with you on the facilitation angle.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • Jonathon

    Dave,

    The difference is that a satellite photo has limited resolution (at least everyone I’ve seen so far), whereas the photos they’ve taken for the Street View are at a very close distance, allowing the viewer to see in detail the exterior of the home. It’s one thing when your home is setback 200 feet on a 4 acre plot, so that the picture lacks sufficient detail to ascertain specific points of entry, (that is, I suppose one could claim that it’s little different from the satellite photo), but it’s an entirely different matter when the home is situated (as a vast majority of home are in the US) relatively close to the street, and details like doorknobs, street addresses, window types, etc. and personal property shown within the windows are clearly defined by their photos.

    Are we all supposed to live in a world where Google can use their need for greed to place us in the position of having to purchase video security systems and shotguns to protect ourselves from their need for profit at our expense? I know that I’m now considering for the first time in my life buying a gun, because in light of their greedy efforts I really don’t feel safe in my home at all anymore.

    The law needs to be changed. Google (or any other company) should not have the legal right to provide up-close photography of my personal property. If you want to sign off to allow them this right, thenn so be it, but I don;t believe that you or they should be able to do so for me. I think their ability to get away with this is a glaring loophole in the First ammendment and an obvious example of the moral vacuity of their executives and supporters.

  • Jonathon

    (correction…when I say that “if you want to sign off to allow them this right”… I forgot to include the following critical qualification…”for your personal property”

  • farmerjoe

    We live in a rural area and this new street view in Australia shows a close enough aerial shot to see every tree, every outbuilding, how far our house is to the next house. In a rural area you do not want this information available to the whole world as it poses a massive security risk both in terms of personal security and in terms of theft. This is a criminals paradise for rural areas. Normal street view is not a street view for us. On our “street” you can barely see our house we are so far from the road. On rural maps they flew over the house and invaded our pricvacy. And we DO NOT have people photographing us every day round these parts, not even once a year by people we do not know.
    This has launched and we are supposed to be able to have our image removed but I can see plenty of rights of google (not using their images without permission…..ha ha ha ironic isnt it..they have taken our images without permission). CAN SOMEONE TELL ME WHERE WE CAN REMOVE OUR PLACE OFF THIS SCHEME. And why isnt this an opt in rather than opt out. Just who gave google permission to do this. Dont just argue it away on the basis of those who live in a flat or are happy to live in big brother land. There are plenty of us concerned and I am one of them. I am concerned for myself and for my family and for all those I know are at risk with this and dont even have a computer to know how much they are at risk .

Leave a Comment

Who are you?

Your message.