Google 'Street View' invaded suburban Pa. couple's privacy, suit claims

Chris Rizo Apr. 7, 2008, 7:47am

PITTSBURGH -- Internet juggernaut Google is being sued by a Pennsylvania couple who claim that the search engine invaded their privacy by taking a picture of their home for its Google Street View feature.

The feature allows Internet users to see 360-degree, street-level views by clicking on a city map. To get the images, Google sends vehicles mounted with digital cameras up and down streets in U.S. cities.

Aaron and Christine Boring said Google snapped a photo of their home in the Pittsburgh suburb of Franklin Park in October 2006 without permission.

In a 10-page complaint filed Wednesday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, they claim they have sustained "mental suffering and diminished value of their property."

The couple is seeking at least $25,000 in damages.

In their lawsuit, the Borings said part of the reason they bought property on Oakridge Lane was their desire for privacy.

They say that Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc. trespassed to drive down Oakridge, a road owned by residents, to snap the photo of their home, which included their pool in the backyard.

The couple is represented by attorney Dennis Moskal. He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he has received a flood of media calls about the case.

"We were surprised there was no other case like it. It was bound to happen, a company like Google going face to face on these privacy issues. There had to be somebody to get them to alter the course of the big giant," he was quoted as saying.

He added, "What happened to Google's responsibility? Their code of conduct starts with 'do no evil.'"

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