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Google Privacy The Almighty Buck The Courts Technology

Google Loses Street View Suit, Forced To Pay $1 225

Posted by timothy
from the token-victory dept.
Translation Error writes "Two and a half years ago, the Borings sued Google for invading their privacy by driving onto their private driveway and taking pictures of their house to display on Google Street View. Now, the case has finally come to a close with the judge ruling in favor of the Borings and awarding them the princely sum of $1. While the judge found the Borings to be in the right, she awarded them only nominal damages, as the fact that they had already made images of their home available on a real estate site and didn't bother to seal the lawsuit to minimize publicity indicated the Borings neither valued their privacy nor had it been affected in any great way by Google's actions."
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Google Loses Street View Suit, Forced To Pay $1

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  • Re:Precedent (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:06PM (#34425480)

    $1 is a common award for trespassing where the only "injury" is to the dignity of the property right. This case isn't significant precedent; it's following precedent. It's also not putting Google on notice or going to change anyone's behavior as everybody knows not to trespass, yet everybody does it some of the time. Ever turn around in a neighborhood by driving into some random person's driveway? Trespass! Just keep $1 around in case you ever get sued, because you will doubtless lose and be forced to cough up $1.

  • Re:Precedent (Score:5, Informative)

    by russotto (537200) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:20PM (#34425644) Journal

    But since American law operates as much upon precedent as statute, this has significance.

    There's no precedent set by this decision. It's in a district court and it's a consent decree.

  • Re:Ah, Trespassing (Score:5, Informative)

    by zacronos (937891) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:03PM (#34426132)

    What's frustrating is the stupidity of the judge. Quite frankly, a portion of Slashdot as well.

    [...] Well first off, not everybody would instantly assume that putting their home up for sale would result in pictures being on a website, [...]

    [...]A real estate agent exposing pictures, for the purpose of a sale, on a website that might never be seen and the pictures would be removed once the house was sold.[...]

    You say those things and then have the arrogance to call the judge, as well as a portion of Slashdot, stupid? No, of course not everyone would assume that putting their home up for sale would result in pictures on a website... that's because it's not automatic. If your realtor does that without your express permission, that realtor is asking for a lawsuit of their own. If pictures of their house were on a real estate website, it's not because the owners didn't know about them, it's because they said "heck yeah, let's put some pictures with the online listing!".

    Furthermore, in my experience, the pictures are not removed once the house is sold. Why do you assume (and state authoritatively) that they would be? For example, take a look at this listing [glarmls.com]. There's a picture, and if you scroll down to the red-highlighted stuff at the bottom, you'll see the selling price, as well as the closing date... oh look, the date's in 1998, over 10 years ago! And yet the picture is still on the real estate website!

    Well, at least you were right about a portion of Slashdot being stupid... methinks you weren't looking at the right part though...

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