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Google Says Complete Privacy Does Not Exist

samzenpus posted more than 6 years ago | from the open-books dept.

Google 543

schliz writes "In a submission to court, Google is arguing that in the modern world there can be no expectation of privacy. Google is being sued by a Pennsylvania couple after their home appeared on Google's Street View pages. The couple's house is on a private road clearly marked as private property." Here is our previous story about Google Street View privacy issues.

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Perhaps they should photograph around (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414371)

military installations, the CIA, the NSA, and other sensitive areas- just to see if there really is no privacy in the US.

Fences, Gates and Guards.... (3)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414427)

In the case of military, CIA, NSA, &tc. there are fences, gates, guards, dogs and suchlike preventing your access to what they don't want pictures of.

That said, if these people *really* cared about privacy, they could have put up a gate across the road to ensure no-one just wandered in.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (3, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414481)

And when planes fly overhead and take pictures anyway, what are you to do?

The government is one thing and can get this redacted easliy, but if google earth had to hide the data within the boundary of every single area of private property we wouldn't be left with much.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (5, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414553)

Nope. The only legal requirement is that Google not set foot on property if it is marked as private property. Google can photograph it from a public street, or any other public land. They can fly over it. They can take pictures from a satellite. They can set up shop in a building across the street (with permission) and go paparazzi to their heart's content.

They simply cannot step onto the private property without permission.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414735)

So, how low can I fly ? Is it okay if I use a hovercraft instead of a normal car, hovering 5 inches above your property ?

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (2, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414763)

You can fly as low as the law allows. I do not know what that is, if it is a federal law, or governed at the state level. But the bottom line is that Google must comply with laws. They cannot do whatever they want.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (4, Informative)

drerwk (695572) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414811)

It's been awhile, but last time I had a ticket it was 1000 ft AGL. With permission you could go below that. I think news helicopters and air ambulances are examples of exceptions.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (2, Insightful)

y86 (111726) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414737)

They simply cannot step onto the private property without permission.

I'm pretty sure the post office steps on private property every time they go up on my porch to deliver a letter. The same with Fedex, UPS, tax appraiser and utility workers.

I don't think that's a valid argument.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (2, Insightful)

m.ducharme (1082683) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414853)

In most of those cases, you probably want them to go on your property, or have agreed that they are allowed to go on your property under certain circumstances. You wouldn't want the forbid the mail man, Fedex or UPS from coming to your door, but you could if you want to.

Utility workers have access as a condition of providing their service. I'm not sure about tax appraisers, they may not actually have the right to go on your property whenever they want. The city may be required to give proper notice (the definition of "proper" varying widely of course).

But generally, all these people mentioned above have your (implied or explicit) permission to be on your property.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414745)

no... but then Google can payoff some city official who will take the people's road, house and all of their property by eminent domain claiming
that it's needed to improve blight in the city.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (3, Insightful)

Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414857)

The only legal requirement is that Google not set foot on property if it is marked as private property.

Is that even a legal requirement? A sign marked "private property" isn't the same thing as a sign saying "no trespassing" or "private property---no photographing from beyond this point". I've seen lots of mall parking lots that say "private property"; From what I understand, unless the sign is more specific, you can still show up and do pretty much anything you want until the owner (or his agent, e.g. a mall employee) asks you to leave.

Re:Fences, Gates and Guards.... (3, Insightful)

startling (717697) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414753)

That said, if these people *really* cared about privacy, they could have put up a gate across the road to ensure no-one just wandered in.

Why should people have to go the expense of erecting a gate? Why can't businesses like Google ensure their contractors and employees simply behave in a decent and proper manner and have respect for notices?

Re:Perhaps they should photograph around (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414433)

They do. Google sells their products to government.

Re:Perhaps they should photograph around (4, Informative)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414515)

It actually works the other way. The council I work for commissions the arial photography and sells it to google.

Re:Perhaps they should photograph around (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414435)

You can take pictures on military installations AND the NSA if you want...just not inside restricted areas within. I have an entire photo album of stuff when I worked at those places.

Luddites (0, Flamebait)

Porchroof (726270) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414375)

I repeat: luddites.

Re:Luddites (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414401)

Luddites? For not wanting folks driving on their private property? I am not sure why Google should be above the law.

Perhaps you wouldn't mind Google street view coming in your house unannounced and taking pictures of whatever they want.

Re:Luddites (3, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414443)

Driving up to someone's house on their "private property" (err, driveway) should never be illegal. Google is welcome to photograph the outside of my house as much as they like, since I don't consider it to be private, since there's no way for me to hide it from public view.

Re:Luddites (2, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414505)

That might be your opinion. It might be Google's opinion. But the law states otherwise. Google needs to obey the law.

Re:Luddites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414609)

Which law?

Re:Luddites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414653)

But the law states otherwise.

Really? Where?

Re:Luddites (0)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414755)

The law says they cannot trespass on private property. Google can take pictures of the house from publicly accessible areas how ever much they want.

Re:Luddites (3, Insightful)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414683)

The key word in "private property" is private. To say that privacy doesn't exist is ludicrous. If you think otherwise, can I plant a spy cam in your bedroom? I hear your wife is a hottie.

If I have a long, winding driveway with a "no trespassing" sign on it and you come onto my property uninvited, I'm calling the police AND my lawyer, having you jailed for trespassing and sued for invasion of privacy. Nobody has a right to be on my property without my permission.

"Don't be evil" is clearly a hollow slogan, no more real than Pontiac's "we build excitement". If they were serious the slogan would be "do no evil".

For once, the old slashdot geezer joke is serious: Get the fuck off my lawn.

Re:Luddites (3, Insightful)

entrigant (233266) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414693)

What makes the fact that part of their property is paved or might have some gravel thrown on it any different than the rest of their property? What if own a square mile of land with a house in the middle and a "driveway" a half mile long connecting to a public road at the end. Should I expect to be able to enforce my desire for uninvited individuals to enter my property and photograph it in that case?

Lets remove the drive way. I simply get between my house and the road half a mile away using an off road capable vehicle. Would the be different, and if so, why? What if my property extended only 10 feet from the walls of my house? Sure, someone could photograph it from 11 feet away, but if their 9 feet away I can tell them to "get off my lawn".

Photographing something from public property may not be something that should be prohibited, but on *my* property if I don't want you there you shouldn't be there camera in hand or not. This is especially true if I have no trespassing and private property signs posted at the entrance.

Google didn't photograph their house from the public road. They drove *onto* their property which was clearly marked and started taking pictures intended to be published publicly.

Re:Luddites (5, Interesting)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414589)

And if the couple prosecuted Google for trespassing, they would have a valid case and be well within their rights. However, suing for lost property value and mental distress is just bullshit that has nothing to do with the law

Re:Luddites (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414629)

I didn't read the article (surprise). If they are suing beyond the trespassing, then they are schmucks. However, I was only replying to the 'Luddite' comment which I took to be directed at anyone who puts up a barrier between their house and the public.

Re:Luddites (2, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414845)

I did read the article and it doesn't say anything about suing for trespassing.

The couple are suing Google for US$25,000 in damages, saying that the value of their property has been damaged and say they have suffered "mental stress".

I'm guessing that they figured that a trespassing lawsuit wouldn't pay as much as "lowered property values" and "mental stress" so they went with the latter. I don't see how a simple Google Street View image lowers your property values. Beside, Google has a clear method for removing the images. They should have contacted Google and asked for those images to be taken down. If Google didn't comply in a reasonable amount of time, then you could sue for something other than the initial trespassing.

Of course, a guilty verdict on a hypothetical trespassing charge would rely on other factors like visible signs marking the property as private. If the only sign is obscured by a bush, then the Google van can't be faulted for not knowing that it was a private road. If there are multiple easily viewed signs, then Google is at fault.

private road / private property (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414383)

Shouldnt the couple sue google for trespass, too?

In any case, how does being featured on street view lower property value?

Re:private road / private property (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414409)

who would want to buy private land if it isn't really private?

Re:private road / private property (1)

dogmatixpsych (786818) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414457)

They could probably only win a trespassing case if the private road was fenced or gated off and the Google driver opened the gate to get in without permission. Simply sticking up a Private Property sign is not enough. I'm not saying Google was right in driving on their road but there's no way they could be charged with trespassing in this case.

Re:private road / private property (2, Interesting)

fprintf (82740) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414561)

You mean those No Trespassing signs I see along plots of land throughout town can be ignored? I seriously always thought that I could be prosecuted with a pretty significant chance of losing my case if I walked across the property if a) caught and b) up against a motivated property owner. Care to share some details of your findings that require more than a sign?

Re:private road / private property (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414477)

How it it trespassing?

They were given public access to it.

Re:private road / private property (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414663)

that's a reasonable assumption but I wonder... are the photos still on google street view? I wonder if there was really a no trespassing sign.. and if there was how badly damaged/worn out was it? Anybody here have the coordinates?

More proof Google is evil (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414385)

Naturally, the fucktarded shitdot sheeple will come to fuckle's (fucking google) defense. Then again the shitdot sheeple are nothing more than a bunch of communist fucktards who should go and slit their fucking wrists.

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR GODDAMNED MODPOINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

Re:More proof Google is evil (2, Funny)

retech (1228598) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414439)

Wouldn't that be "foogle?"

Woot, I must be right (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414539)

As I was modded down as flamebait by an angry fucktard who sheepishly follows the communists fucktard taco, brokeback neil, RMS Titanic AKA Stallman, and Fucktard Linanus the fudgepacking linsux creator.

If Microsoft did this, you would be stating "M$ is teh evil." The only reason you fucktarded shitdot sheeple are defending Fuckle over this is they are teh defenders of communist open-sores. Why don't you communist fucktards go and slit your fucking wrists.

GO AHEAD FUCKING FLAME AWAY OR WASTE YOUR GODDAMNED MODPOINTS FUCKTARDED SHITDOT SHEEPLE!

Re:Woot, I must be right (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414749)

Take your meds, boy. The moderator was right. You came in here anonymously to slashdot and slandered and insulted everyone here.

If you did that in a bar (although I'm sure you're not old enough to go into one) you'd get your sorry ass kicked and probably thrown in jail afterwards.

FOAD, troll.

Re:Woot, I must be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414871)

If you did that in a bar (although I'm sure you're not old enough to go into one) you'd get your sorry ass kicked and probably thrown in jail afterwards.

Of course, if it were a slashdot bar, he'd be pelted with pocket protectors and told to "MOOOOOVE!" repeatedly.

I hope they win (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414393)

YES THE LAW DOES APPLY TO GOOGLE

I hope they win. Privacy does exist. Get bent I don't want you in my house.

Re:I hope they win (4, Informative)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414453)

Good thing they weren't actually IN anybody's house. Why let little details like that get in the way of an otherwise decent slashdot discussion though.

Re:I hope they win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414689)

I tought that privacy was a forgotten thing in the states...

more or less true, but . . . (5, Insightful)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414397)

Google is more or less correct. If people really want "true privacy" in today's world, then they really have to never leave their house, never access the internet, never buy anything with a credit card or debit card, and don't forget your tinfoil hat. However, knowing a little bit more about this case, if the property owners in question did have a 'private property' sign up in front of the road that Google went down, then they did trespass onto their property to take the photos. If that's true, then this case is closed. Plain and simple. You don't need any fancy shmancy explanations and definitions of "privacy" here. If there was no sign, then Google did nothing wrong.

Re:more or less true, but . . . (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414445)

If there was no sign, then Google did nothing wrong.

FTS: "The couple's house is on a private road clearly marked as private property."

At least read the summary.....

(on an unrelated topic, I have to wait more than 4 minutes between posts now. Excellent karma and no downmodded comment in weeks. Excellent system here, guys)

Re:more or less true, but . . . (5, Funny)

godfra (839112) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414599)

There can be no expectation of frequency.

Re:more or less true, but . . . (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414661)

(on an unrelated topic, I have to wait more than 4 minutes between posts now. Excellent karma and no downmodded comment in weeks. Excellent system here, guys)

If only I had mod points left, I could fix that for you.

Re:more or less true, but . . . (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414493)

Next time I see a Google van on my private roads, it will be greeted with a bazooka. On my lands, there can be "no expectation of safety."

Re:more or less true, but . . . (2, Insightful)

phyrexianshaw.ca (1265320) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414497)

If that's true, then this case is closed. Plain and simple.

At the same time, is Google responsible for this? They've clearly instructed the hotographers NOT to do exactly this, and they did anyways, is this not a personal issue?

Re:more or less true, but . . . (1)

chaodyn (1313729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414655)

Absolving Google of responsibility of employee actions while performing company business is a wonderful idea - just think of all the litigation we could throw out of the courts based on precedence!

Re:more or less true, but . . . (2, Informative)

yincrash (854885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414525)

this appears to be about the same case that was reported back in april http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2008/0404081google1.html [thesmokinggun.com] it's hard to tell because the linked article in this slashdot story has pretty much no identifying information besides "Pennsylvania" and "private road" however, there are a couple of these roads marked as "Private Road" in Pittsburgh. I believe when I first heard about it, there were several of these roads "street view"able. this one has been taken off as well as a couple of other private roads. it's probably safe to assume it's a response to the complaint. http://maps.google.com/maps?q=Oakridge+Ln,+Pittsburgh,+Allegheny,+Pennsylvania+15237,+United+States&ie=UTF8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-a&hl=en&cd=1&geocode=0,40.575870,-80.079510&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=23.875,57.630033&ll=40.578336,-80.079153&spn=0.010593,0.021179&z=16&layer=c&cbll=40.57501,-80.077183&panoid=q8qE5vF8Oc7W2jkP4jFV9A&cbp=1,292.8765722178444,,0,5.671234277821568 [google.com]

Re:more or less true, but . . . (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414535)

I should learn to actually use the preview then format my responses.
wee!

Re:more or less true, but . . . (2, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414623)

God I hope it's the house shown here. [thesmokinggun.com] I'd really like to see how well that argument of "lowering the value of their house" works. I mean, I'm pretty much seeing a small shack on some dirt with a coupla garages. But they do have a pool!

Re:more or less true, but . . . (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414715)

hah. Looks like a big Oops on the part of the drivers... maybe they just needed to turn around or whatever but they really should have made a note of it and struck those images out.

Re:more or less true, but . . . (2, Informative)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414869)

That's how the property value was lowered - they allowed people to get a good look at the house beforehand. Same way that when cars are for sale online, the gaping rust holes and frame damage are conveniently not seen in the pics - having proper pics available would decrease the car's value.

It's not a bad house to me though, it mostly just needs some landscaping to give it that nice pre-apocalypse look...but then again I'm not a real estate junkie who needs to have a perfect house so that it looks like I'm wealthy while I'm actually neck-deep in debt.

This is what starts to happen... (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414403)

This is what starts to happen when people don't bother to protect their privacy: the notion of privacy itself starts to vanish. If this argument flies, privacy will become a thing of the past, and people who to protect their own privacy will just be labeled as "paranoid weirdos."

Re:This is what starts to happen... (1)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414429)

and people who to protect their own privacy will just be labeled as "paranoid weirdos."

You mean that's not the reason I'm currently labeled a paranoid weirdo?

Re:This is what starts to happen... (4, Interesting)

jgijanto (1125695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414555)

Yep. I can't help but feel we're entering an age of total surveillance. Both major contenders for US President voted in favor of FISA legislation - it's just one step in the incremental process of the decimation of individual privacy.

It was only the "left wing liberals" who stirred up much of a fuss over this, and everyone knows that they're nutjobs anyway. The majority of the American populace is uneducated or uninterested in these issues, and they're happy to sit idly by while their freedom erodes before their eyes!

Re:This is what starts to happen... (5, Interesting)

DeathToBill (601486) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414557)

I don't think many of you realise it, but this is very much an American discussion. The whole privacy/trespass thing is an Americanism, and the rest of us *already* think you're "paranoid weirdos" (joke, joke).

Seriously, though, in England and Wales there is an established legal Right to Wander; so long as I don't do damage, I can wander wherever I like. Am I tresspassing? The owner can do nothing about it unless I do damage. Am I invading their privacy by taking photos of their property? Tough.

This is not a failure of the law; it is a balance of the rights of the public versus the rights of individual property owners. My rights as a member of the public trump theirs as property owners, in this case.

Re:This is what starts to happen... (1)

jgijanto (1125695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414637)

Unfortunately, our politicians have a pretty bad track record when it comes to siding with special interests/lobbyists/corporations over the private individual. The interests of our public are fleeting and fickle.

Re:This is what starts to happen... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414733)

Seriously, though, in England and Wales there is an established legal Right to Wander; so long as I don't do damage, I can wander wherever I like. Am I tresspassing? The owner can do nothing about it unless I do damage.

Agreed.

Am I invading their privacy by taking photos of their property? Tough.

That depends on the nature of the photos, and what you do with them. Taking pictures detailing the layout of a room (and publishing them) may very well constitute a violation of privacy and/or even copyright.

Re:This is what starts to happen... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414761)

Just surround your house with the most shoddy fence that has ever seen the light of day. It's not there to keep anyone out - it's there to get damaged when someone tries to get in :P

Re:This is what starts to happen... (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414767)

Seriously, though, in England and Wales there is an established legal Right to Wander; so long as I don't do damage, I can wander wherever I like.

Wow, they've legally codified the right to pubcrawl? Where do I apply? ;)

I'm interested in this though - how far does it apply? Can somebody just camp out in your backyard if they want?

Re:This is what starts to happen... (5, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414773)

I'm not sure that the right to roam gives you quite as much freedom as you think it does - I can't spend long researching it, but google searches suggest that it applies to open countryside. You most certainly do not have the right to roam on to my driveway, for example, which is clearly private property.

No privacy (1)

drsmall17 (1240792) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414405)

There is no privacy in a police state. The One World Government is coming.

So much for do no evil. (2, Insightful)

CountBrass (590228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414417)

This is a complete nonsense. Just because some set of pillocks (Paris Hilton, Jordan, everyone on Big Brother) gives up their privacy or Google decides to build a business invading people's privacy doesn't take away my right to it.

I hope the Court gives Google a big punch in the face in the form of an exemplary fine.

Cover (1)

Lord Lode (1290856) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414421)

If they don't want to appear on aerial photos, they should cover their roof and garden with something like blankets or a large balloon or so.

Re:Cover (1)

otacon (445694) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414451)

Um...Street View != Aerial Photos.

Satellite Images (5, Interesting)

c_sd_m (995261) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414423)

The summary and TFA are short on details but it seems that Google's arguing that since satellite photos are permissible, there can't be an expectation of privacy wrt street-level photos.

There's a big difference in the detail available in most sat photos versus Street View. It'll be interesting to see what gets considered private or public. Currently, it seems it's okay if you can tell I have a black car but not that my front door's red.

Re:Satellite Images (5, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414559)

> There's a big difference in the detail available in most sat photos versus Street View. It'll be interesting to see what gets considered private
> or public. Currently, it seems it's okay if you can tell I have a black car but not that my front door's red.

So what happens once satellite photos are the same quality as photos taken from a few metres away?

Re:Satellite Images (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414779)

google and for that matter any other company /individual can not invade a private property. if this lawsuit fails, i could just walk into googleplex and make pretty pictures.

I wonder if that would be ok for google.

Re:Satellite Images (1)

Eivind (15695) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414821)

In most, perhaps. But note that it's perfectly legal to -fly- above peoples property in a normal plane, or a balloon or whatever. You can get basically any level of detail you want from a plane a few hundred meters up, or a balloon.

So, in effect, the very same photo could likely have been OK if obtained in a different manner.
This: http://www.gulesider.no/kart/index.c?ps=1&companies=&orientation=1&q=polarveien+23e&imgt=PERSPECTIVE&id=a_1114049&n=58.946261325642574&s=58.94556918209484&e=5.723519805695579&w=5.722024917394716&panX=-2&panY=-156&tool=pan&scrollX=0&scrollY=0&zoomFactor=0.7 [gulesider.no] photo of my house is reasonably low-resolution, but that's because currently it ain't worthwhile to collect a terabyte when a megabyte will do, if they'd -wanted- hi-res photos of my house spesifically they could get MUCH better photage.

Re:Satellite Images (1)

Kopiok (898028) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414837)

There's also the difference of satellite being located in space and their truck being located on the land owner's private property.

Trespass (4, Informative)

scharkalvin (72228) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414437)

If the photo had been obtained from space then there is no case. But if a google car drove down a private street that was marked private property then they do have a good case for trespass. Normally such roads are gated though.

Re:Trespass (2, Insightful)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414685)

That's the problem--did the Google car actually drive down the "private road," or were the photos taken from a public street with a camera pointed towards the property? If it's the former, then Google's toast (and should be). But if it's the latter ... I have to admit I don't see the issue.

If people would walk into Google buildings (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414463)

And took pictures. Would they allow it?

The article doesn't make sense. (1)

ThisIsAnonymous (1146121) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414471)

From the article (this is what google said):

"Today's satellite image technology means that even in today's desert, complete privacy does not exist"

As I understand it, Street View is not captured by satellite? From the same article:

The Street View program aims to photograph every street in the world and place the photographs online. A team of specially converted cars with cameras mounted on the roof are in constant action around the world.

Once again, why are they arguing about satellite imaging. That's not how Street View works.

Wanted: addresses of Google employees (3, Interesting)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414479)

We should collect the home addresses of Google employees (preferably at the top level) and install some webcams ourselves.

Or hire some papparazi to annoy them.. would finally give Britney a break as well.

Re:Wanted: addresses of Google employees (5, Funny)

wisty (1335733) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414519)

Do you really want to see Eric, Larry, or Sergi with a "wardrobe malfunction"?

Re:Wanted: addresses of Google employees (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414529)

Leave Google alone!!

Re:Wanted: addresses of Google employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414711)

Leave google alone!, Leave them alone!

Trespassing (4, Informative)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414483)

Let's see what happens when google street view tries to do this in Texas, where you can legally shoot someone for encroaching on private property to perform "criminal mischief"... I'm sure they'll agree that taking photos on private property counts as criminal mischief in Texas, assuming it's clearly posted as private property.

Re:Trespassing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414579)

That's a pretty retarded law :/

Re:Trespassing (5, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414843)

That's a pretty retarded law :/

But it makes for some mighty polite Door-to-Door salesmen.

Well.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414563)

Since they were on private property - they should've just taken their guns (every American owns at least 2, right?) and shoot the Google car - it is, after all, trespassing.

I'm quite sure they wouldn't have returned with their puny little van.

An addendum (1)

seyyah (986027) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414565)

"Google Says Complete Privacy Does Not Exist On Google"

Where can we expect privacy? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414571)

I really don't see that Google has a leg to stand on here.

I'll agree completely that there's no expectation of privacy in a public place. However, google seems intent on redefining "public".

The street, of course, is a public place. I have no problems with streetview most of the time.

My cousin's garden is surrounded by high trees and can't be overlooked by any of the neighbouring houses. Does she have a reasonable expectation of privacy there? She's quite upset that she's grainily visible in her bikini.

But driving up and publishing photos of someone else's land, clearly marked as "private property" is not acceptable. That the couple are "far from hermits" is totally irrlelvant; google (or their representatives) trespassed then took and published photos of private property.

I assume that google knows this, but is terrified that conceding this case will open he floodgates for countless other people with similar complaints.

But there is some privacy at least in Maryland (2, Interesting)

amigabill (146897) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414577)

I'd like to put up security cameras around my house. I talked to my county police for advice on the proper ways to go about doing this. I'm not allowed to point them at someone else's property at all (without their permission), not even if it's visible from public view. I can point them at my own property, and I can point them at public property. I'm also not allowed to record any audio at all, not even if it's pointed at my own stuff.

Chicken or Egg? (1)

TechnoBunny (991156) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414595)

Google have themselves created a situation where there can be no expectation of privacy.

Its akin to me taking a photo of someone in the street, sticking it on the web and then, when they complain, point out that their picture is widely available so they cant expect privacy. Once that genie is out of the bottle its *very* hard to put back....

dear google, (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414607)

In a submission to court, Google is arguing that in the modern world there can be no expectation of privacy because of Google .

there, fixed that for ya google

anybody have the coordinates of their house (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414611)

I'd like to google map the place and see what it's like (and what I can see)

Wasting oil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414613)

FTA: "A team of specially converted cars with cameras mounted on the roof are in constant action around the world."

Thanks for warming the globe while you trespass and invade privacy, Google.

donoevil tag needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414667)

Did they just totally ignore their motto to argue this?

No expectation of privacy?? (4, Interesting)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414681)

So if I sit in front of Google's NYC office and pick random employees to follow around with a camera or hire a team of paparazzi to chase Larry Page and Sergey Brin around everywhere they go there shouldn't be a problem?

Re:No expectation of privacy?? (1)

Poorcku (831174) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414813)

you can do more. private property is not just the yard, it is the whole complex too. go in their offices and make the pics. it is private property aswell.

Im not sure (2, Informative)

WillRobinson (159226) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414719)

First IANAL, and the laws vary from state to state but here is my take, as being a hunter and running into these situations.

1. Private property sign if placed off the road, means you cant trespass off the road onto the fenced in land.

2. Driving up the above road is not illegal. Even if there is a sign that says "private drive" as long as there was no gate. If there was a gate, and you breached the gate to drive up the "private drive" then you would have trespassed.

3. Making a film of property marked private property is not illegal. Filming off a private drive that is not gated is not illegal.

Now that I said that, I think it would have been proper, to go ahead and go up to the house and ask them if it was ok, it would only have taken a minute. But the act of driving up the ungated road and filming while they were driving on it will not be found trespass.

Is this the only entrance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#24414751)

While I believe private property is privately controlled, one has to wonder: How do they determine who gets to use the private road?

Is there another way to reach the home? What if a process server needed to serve papers on them?

There's too little information in TFA.

Screw that (1)

dalmiroy2k (768278) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414769)

If complete privacy doesn't exist then Google's board of directors should put web cameras into their bathrooms and broadcast 24/7....

I have nothing to hide, but nothing to share either...

Ways to boycott Google (0, Troll)

Janos421 (1136335) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414809)

If you want to boycott Google, just stop clicking on their ads. You can still use the engine they won't earn any money from it. If you see an interesting ad, just copy/past the url address. Plus, the websites won't have to pay for the ads (who knows, maybe someday they'll reward users that do not click on adwords)
We should also put Google car alerts. When one is detected we should put "anti-google" pictures in front of the camera. Another idea could be to find a (non-obscene) picture that Goolge does not have the right to reproduce on the Internet (for instance, with an appropriate copyright).

Stop hiding, make noise!

Old man speaks up (4, Funny)

freeweed (309734) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414827)

I think I speak for many of us oldtimers when I say:

GOOGLE! GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!

Dear Google (4, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414829)

Fuck you. If there's no such thing as privacy in the modern world, it's because fuckwit corps think they can do whatever they damn well please. Way to reveal yourself as one of them.

They want to own the light! (2, Interesting)

PhilHibbs (4537) | more than 6 years ago | (#24414839)

That's a quote from "The State of the Art", a short story by Iain M. Banks where a Culture contact ship visits Earth. One of them is visiting a colleague in an apartment in Paris, and sees a sign saying "No photographs allowed". The idea of owning the light and imposing restrictions on its use is just preposterous to her.

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