US judge dismisses Boring privacy case

US judge dismisses Boring privacy case

The court dismissed Mr & Mrs Boring's $25,000 claim for damages to compensate for the mental anguish suffered and the devaluing of their home due to its appearance on Google Maps' Street View.

The pair also charged Google with trespass, negligence, invasion of privacy and "unjustly enriching itself by profiting from the photo of their property".

The couple also requested that the images of their home be removed from the website and destroyed.

Google points out that Street View only features photographs taken on public property and the imagery is no different from what anyone can readily see or capture walking down the street.

"Imagery of this kind is available in a wide variety of formats for cities all around the world. We are committed to respecting local laws and norms in each country in which we launch Street View," says Google.

The court ruled that the Borings were unlikely to have suffered shame or humiliation due to the image appearing on Street View, and dismissed the case.

If the Boring pair thought that taking Google to court would eliminate the risk of unwanted public scrutiny, they obviously didn't think it through. The lawsuit was covered by a multitude of newspapers, all of which had access to the filing which included the offended couple's home address.

Google launched Street View in 2007 with pictures taken in a set of US cities and the service has expanded to include locations in other countries.

The launch of Google Street View was initially met with shrieks of outrage from privacy watchdogs in the US and Europe, prompting Google to start blurring faces of people caught in Street View photographs. Google also removes images if requested to do so by property owners.

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