Google wins Street View privacy case

By on

A couple who claimed that their privacy had been violated by Google's Street View mapping service have failed to win compensation through the US courts.

Street View, which offers 360-degree street level images, was launched in the US in 2007, and is generated by Google drivers who film the roads using car-mounted cameras.

Aaron and Christina Boring sued Google for trespass and invasion of privacy last year.

The Street View cars are meant to capture images only from public roads, but took pictures of the Boring's drive which was marked with 'Private Road' and 'No Trespassing' signs.

The Borings claimed emotional suffering, and said that the pictures had caused their home to diminish in value by US$25,000. But the US court ruled in Google's favour.

"The amended complaint is devoid of facts sufficient to indicate that the photographs of the Borings' property revealed private facts such that a reasonable person would be highly offended," said the case filing.

"It does not appear that the viability of street search has been compromised by requests that images be removed, nor does a search of relevant legal terms show that courts are inundated with - or even frequently consider - privacy claims based on virtual mapping."

UK privacy experts have raised concerns about Google launching the mapping service across the Atlantic, but the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has discussed the system with Google and is satisfied that it does not breach the Data Protection Act.

After talks with Google the ICO found that "Google is keen to capture images of streets and not individuals". Google has promised to blur number plates and faces to protect privacy.

Tags:

Most Read Articles

Log In

Username:
Password:
|  Forgot your password?