Google wins Boring Street View case

Oh, dear! Google Street View in the news again
Oh, dear! Google Street View in the news again

A court in Pennsylvania has found Google not guilty of privacy invasion, after a couple tried to sue the web giant over misuse of its Street View app.

Although Street View has yet to hit the UK, Google has been busy taking images of as much of America as it can for its application, including property belonging to Aaron and Christine Boring.

The Borings felt it that by showing an image of their home on Street View, Google was breaking numerous privacy laws so they decided to take them to court David and Goliath style. They lost the case and will not be getting the $25,000 (c£17,500) compensation package they requested.

"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," said Judge Hay, about the case.

"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 their suffering were less severe than they contend," Hay concluded.

AdWord manipulation

This is not the only court case Google is part of. It seems everyone wants part of the Google pie, with, a business-to-business search engine also looking to claim damages.

According to, the website, owned by New York company LLC, has taken a lawsuit out against Google for what it calls a "manipulation of fees".

Essentially, the site believes that Google is being unfair in the revenue it takes from the site – pushing up prices of Google AdWords from 5 and 10 cents to $5 and $10 when the site exceeded 600,000 daily visitors.

This has hit the website's income so hard that its owners are claiming: "From March 2006 to December 2006 it lost approximately 90 percent of its monthly traffic from Google and millions of dollars in revenue."

Google Italy

And it's not just Google in the US who is being hit by court cases. Google Italy is being taken to court for a video it hosted on its site but did not produce.

The short film was of a group of youths abusing a boy with Down syndrome. In the video, one of the boys claims to be part of Vivi Down – a group that helps those with Down syndrome.

Because of this, Vivi Down is suing for defamation of character.

USA Today spoke to Guglielmo Pisapia, Google's lead attorney in the case, where he said: Google did not produce the video, and when they received an official complaint, they removed it within five hours.

"If the argument is that they should have evaluated the video before it was posted, then that is a dangerous precedent."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.