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Couple Sues Google Over Street Views

April 7, 2008

Law.com reports that a couple outside of Pittsburgh is suing Google for invading their privacy by snapping a photo of their house for Google Street View, a map feature that allows users to see pictures of streets.  They claim that Google caused them “mental suffering and diminished value of their property,” according to the complaint. They are seeking at least $25,000 in damages.

According to the article, unidentified lawyers reported that they do not “think suing Google over Street View photos will become a huge trend. Like any member of the public, Google is allowed to take pictures from public streets.”

The couple claim that “Google drove down Oakridge Lane — a private road owned by residents — and then further trespassed into their driveway to take a photo that includes their pool.”

Kevin Bankston, a lawyer with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, noted that the couple in the case may have trouble proving damages.

A spokesman for Google said that the company has a policy of only taking photos from public streets and that concerned citizens can contact the company if they want a photo taken down.

No word on whether there is a plan to turn the case into a class action.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. David permalink
    April 8, 2008 4:14 pm

    If you look at the pictures, it seems clear that Google was on the people’s property when the pictures were taken. See http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0407081google2.html and http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0407081google3.html and http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0407081google3.html

    Google was clearly trespassing on these people’s property and can be be held liable for damages arising out of that tort.

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