DOCUMENT: Internet

Google: "Complete Privacy Does Not Exist"

Defending "Street View" lawsuit, firm says trespasses to be expected

Google Street View

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Google: "Complete Privacy Does Not Exist

JULY 30--Arguing that technology has ensured that "complete privacy does not exist," Google contends that a Pennsylvania family has no legal grounds to sue the search giant for publishing photos of their home on its popular "Street View" mapping feature.

Responding to an invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by Aaron and Christine Boring, Google has countered that the couple "live in a residential community in the twenty-first-century United States, where every step upon private property is not deemed by law to be an actionable trespass."

In a motion to dismiss the Borings's federal complaint, Google's six-lawyer team asserts that, "Today's satellite-image technology means that even in today's desert, complete privacy does not exist. In any event, Plaintiffs live far from the desert and are far from hermits." An excerpt from Google's U.S. District Court motion can be found here.

The company asserts that the images of the Borings's Pittsburgh-area residence were "unremarkable photos of the exterior of their home," and were taken during a "brief entry upon their driveway." In their lawsuit, the Borings charged that a Google vehicle--outfitted with a panoramic camera on its roof--drove down a private road to take images of their Oakridge Lane home.

In its dismissal motion, Google noted that it intends to prove that there was "no clearly marked 'Private Road' sign at the beginning" of the Borings's street. Google removed its "Street View" photos of the Boring residence and swimming pool after the couple filed its lawsuit in April. (9 pages)