Feeds

The Borings get another whack at Street View

Damages estimated at $1

Remote control for virtualized desktops

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network
Take your license demand and stick it in your ASSIA
Right to be forgotten should apply to Google.com too: EU
And hey - no need to tell the website you've de-listed. That'll make it easier ...
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.