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US couple lose Google Maps privacy case

An American couple have failed to win damages against Google for its "privacy invading" Street View technology.

Aaron and Christine Boring lost their case in a Pennsylvania court after accusing Google of "privacy violation, negligence, unjust enrichment and trespassing", for showing their home in the Street View feature in Google Maps.

The technology gives viewers a 360-degree street-level view through photographs. The couple were seeking more than $25,000 in compensation.

Google is photographing every street in the US for the service and has also started to do the same thing in the UK and other countries. Privacy groups have expressed concern over what is contained in the images.

In her ruling, judge Amy Hay said the Borings could not prove they had suffered as a result of having their home photographed, particularly as they had not contacted Google to request that the images be removed.

"The plaintiffs' failure to mitigate their alleged pain suggests to the court that the intrusion and their suffering were less severe than they contend," said Hay.

"Whilst it is easy to imagine that many whose property appears on Google's virtual maps resent the privacy implications, it is hard to believe that any - other than the most exquisitely sensitive - would suffer shame or humiliation," she said.

Google said it blurred faces captured in Street View and offers removal tools to those concerned about what is in the images.


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