Google vs. The Borings, Case Dismissed

Posted Feb 19, 2009

A case has been dismissed between Google and the Borings.  The lawsuit involved the Street View mapping service entering private property.  The ruling was issued by Judge Amy Reynolds Hay in a Pennsylvania court.  Aaron and Christine Boring filed the lawsuit against Google last year.  The Boring couple believed that Google violated their privacy when the Street View camera car drove past their driveway even though there was a “private road” sign.

In the case, Google’s law team stated that “complete privacy does not exist” and then mentioned that photos of the couple’s home and floor plans were already available on the Internet.  The photos were on the Allegheny County assessor’s office website.

Google also pointed out that they make sure to take adequate measures to protect the privacy by allowing individuals to have pictures of their property removed from the map.

“While it is easy to imagine that many whose property appears on Google’s virtual maps resent the privacy implications, it is hard to believe that any?other than the most exquisitely sensitive?would suffer shame or humiliation. The Plaintiffs have not alleged facts to convince the Court otherwise,” stated Judge Hay in the decision.

The Judge pointed out the irony with the situation.  The Borings didn’t opt to have the images removed from Street View and in fact drew more attention to themselves by suing Google.

“‘Googling’ the name of the Borings’ attorney demonstrates that publicity regarding this suit has perpetuated dissemination of the Borings’ names and location, and resulted in frequent re-publication of the Street View images,” added Judge Hay. “The Plaintiffs’ failure to take readily available steps to protect their own privacy and mitigate their alleged pain suggests to the Court that the intrusion and the their suffering were less severe than they contend.”