A Boring Google Lawsuit
Google Street View has been discussed in this space before, since Pittsburgh is one of the few cities to have it. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a way for people to look at urban topography from the sidewalk – a human’s eye view, which is a far more useful navigational tool than a bird’s eye view.
The Boring family is suing Google for driving into their private driveway and including the resultant images in its searches. They might actually have a case, since the Smoking Gun shows how intrusive Google’s camera car appeared to be (in these pictures, specifically).
The legal side isn’t what interests me. Instead, we look to the Associated Press’s article about the invasion of privacy suit, which makes great pains to blast the Boring door wide open with information freely available on the Allegheny County website!
Anybody interested in purchasing property in the area knows about the utility of the county’s real estate website. There is far more information there than a series of multi-angle photographs, as the Associated Press indicates in its coverage. It makes one ask the question, possibly to oneself or even possibly to others: is it ok for the government to compile and offer this kind of information to anybody, instantly, and yet not ok for a private company like Google to take pictures of somebody’s front yard?