A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania couple has sued Google for invasion of privacy, accusing the world's largest search engine of photographing their swimming pool and posting it to the web.
Aaron and Christine Boring claim that in offering 360-degree panoramic pics of their private residence via Google Street View, the web giant has "caused them mental suffering and diminished the value of their property."
According to their suit - turned up by The Smoking Gun - the Borings purchased their Pittsburgh home in 2006 for "a considerable sum of money," and "a major component of their purchase decision was a desire for privacy". So they were annoyed when pan-and-zoom-able pics of the home, including its swimming pool, turned up on Street View.
These pics were acquired, the suit says, when a Google vehicle appeared on their private road without a privacy waiver or other authorization. Claiming this private road is marked with a "Private Road" sign, the suit calls Google's behavior "an intentional and/or grossly reckless invasion of...seclusion." The Borings' lawyer calls it "outlandish."
"Put yourself in their position," Dennis Moskal told us. "Say you and your wife are in your swimming pool, wearing whatever, and you see a Google vehicle taking photographs of you - and they're close enough to almost hand you a drink. That is a significant invasion of a person's privacy."
So Moskal has filed suit in Pennsylvania state court to get the Borings' privacy back - and a little extra. The suit seeks at least $25,000 in damages.
It appears that Google has now removed the offending pics from Street View. But that doesn't mean the Borings have recovered their privacy. Their lawsuit has also ensured that their house and swimming pool are pictured on all sorts of other sites across the web. ®