Feeds

The Borings get another whack at Street View

Damages estimated at $1

Top three mobile application threats

Mr. and Mrs. Boring will get a third chance to fight Google over the snapping photos of their secluded home from a Street View spymobile.

Last week, a federal appeals court partially revived the now-famous Pennsylvania couple's privacy lawsuit against Google. But the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling said that Aaron and Christine Boring will have to prove the search firm's photos caused actual damages in order to collect more than one dollar.

Last spring, the Borings filed a lawsuit against Google, claiming invasion of privacy, trespass, negligence, and unjust enrichment. According to the suit, a Google Street View spycar rolled down the Borings' private driveway to take pan-and-zoomable photos of their residence and swimming pool. It argued that the couple should be awarded at least $25,000 in damages for each claim, plus punitive damages and attorney's fees.

But come February 2009, a US District Court judge summarily dismissed the case, rejecting the Boring's claims — and noting that the lawsuit itself did more damage to the couple's privacy than Google Street View ever managed.

Undaunted and claiming it was a case of the "little guy, once again being trampled upon by the big shoe of big business," the Borings then asked a federal judge to reconsider the ruling.

The appeals court, however, has let most of the dismissal stand. Only the trespassing claims remain.

It found that the District Court had improperly dismissed the Borings' claims of trespass on the basis that it was not the proximate cause of any damages sought in the complaint.

"Through claiming not to have done so, it appears that the District Court effectively made damages an element of the claim, and that is problematic," the ruling said.

"Here, the Borings have alleged that Google entered upon their property without permission. If proven, that is trespass, pure and simple," it continued.

But the judge noted that the Borings are unlikely to get more than $1 from Google unless they can prove the pictures caused actual harm or damages.

"Of course, it may well be that, when it comes to proving damages from the alleged trespass, the Borings are left to collect one dollar and whatever sense of vindication that may bring, but that is for another day," the ruling said.

Yet from the past rhetoric likening Google's Street View snaps to enslavement — a low damages payment may not be enough to assuage the Borings. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.