Feeds

Mr. and Mrs. Boring lose Google Street View tilt

Streisand Effect undoes privacy crusade

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Mr. and Mrs. Boring have lost their quixotic legal battle against Google's Orwellian attempt to spy on the entire planet.

Last April, Aaron and Christine Boring sued the ad broker for invasion of privacy after a Google spycar drove down their private driveway, snapped 360-degree, pan-and-zoomable photos of their home and swimming pool, and tossed them onto the interwebs.

With their suit, the Borings said the web giant's Street View operation had "caused them mental suffering and diminished the value of their property." But on Tuesday, a US District Court judge summarily dismissed the case, rejecting six separate claims from the now famous Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania couple.

Most notably, the Borings' suit claimed Intrusion in Seclusion. But in the end, the judge realized that the suit itself did far more to intrude their seclusion than Google's cameras. Rather than embrace the Streisand Effect, the court said, the couple could have simply asked Google to remove their house and swimming pool from the net.

"To reinforce the point that perhaps the plaintiffs didn't experience much harm, the court points out that the plaintiffs didn't take advantage of Google's opt-out procedure, plus they drew public attention to themselves by suing and by not redacting or suppressing their contact info in the court filings," says tech law blogger and Santa Clara University prof Eric Goldman.

"Plaintiffs bringing intrusion into seclusion lawsuits unavoidably thrust themselves into the public eye, whether they want to do so or not. This is especially true for anyone suing Google."

Famously, in fighting the Borings' suit, Google told the world that "even in today's desert, complete privacy does not exist." This is true. And Google is doing its best to ensure that your privacy is eroded even further.

But that doesn't mean the Borings ever had a case. We salute their ideology. But not their methods. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.