Google Wins Street View Privacy Lawsuit

In April of 2008, Aaron and Christine Boring (yes, that's really their last name) sued Google over an alleged privacy violation after a Street View image of their property was posted to the web. They had what seemed to be a flimsy case, and the U.S. District Court of Pennsylvania agreed, as it dismissed the case on Tuesday (.PDF).

Ironically, by filing the lawsuit, the Borings exposed themselves and their property (at 1567 Oakridge Lane, Pittsburgh, PA 15237) to the public. Not that anyone would look up their house on Google Maps or anything.

Their suit was made still flimsier by the fact that (at the time) you could find pictures of their house on the Allegheny County property assessments web site.

The Borings claimed in their five-count lawsuit that the incident caused them "mental suffering" and diluted their home's value. They sought more than $25,000 in damages and asked that the images of their home be taken off the site and destroyed.

Of course, all they had to do to get the images removed was to fill out a simple form: bring up Street View Help, click a link, and select "This image infringes on my privacy." But they couldn't sue for damages that way, of course.

We have to admit, however, that Google was a bit ... oh, say, snarky? Arrogant? ... in terms of their response to the lawsuit. They said that "complete privacy no longer exists." Thing is, we think they may be right.