back to article The Borings get another whack at Street View

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Funny this...

    I bet this is the Borings' 15 minutes of fame. After that, they'll go back to their usual, boring lives.

  2. the midtoad


    This story, like the couple's name itself, is boring. Yet more evidence that Americans are the most spoiled, thinnest-skinned, people in history.

    1. Misoriented

      You forgot the little flame icon

      Aw, is it really necessary to make inflammatory, blanket insults? Most of us Americans hate people like this, too.

      Let's keep it classy, people. You know, like high standards we've kept in the G-spot article.

    2. Anonymous Coward


      There are still the French Canadians.

  3. Goat Jam


    Or an an American but . . .

    "Here, the Borings have alleged that Google entered upon their property without permission. If proven, that is trespass, pure and simple,"

    It is my understanding that trespass is the act of willfully refusing to leave private property when directed to by the property owner.

    Merely _entering_ private property without permission is not trespassing otherwise nobody would be able to enter your front yard in order to ring the doorbell.

    Mines the one with "Internet Lawyering For Dummies" in the pocket.

    1. Jeremy 2

      YANAL and I'm not either...

      ...but you appear to be correct. PA criminal trespass law says "A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he: (i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof."

      However it also says that if there's a 'No Trespassing' sign then entering is 'defiant trespass' and Google is sunk. But then it'll probably only cost them a buck so no biggy.

    2. Alex 0.1


      Under english law at least, you're trespassing on any private land unless you have the owner's permission, there's right of public access (footpaths that cross fields, for example), or you have a specific legal right to be there.

      Trespass in the sense of refusing to leave private property when directed to by the owner is only the case when you were originally given permission to be there (entering a zoo via the front gate by buying a ticket = not trespass as you've been allowed to enter, but then refusing to leave if asked to = trespass), unless you've been given that permission originally you're trespassing just by being there.

      1. Steve Adams

        If only somepne had a photo....

        ... or indeed a set of widescreen panoramic and detailed photos... of the property on the day of the alleged offense.... then we would know for sure whether there was indeed a "No Trespassing" sign up.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      @Goat Jam

      trespass (n) - wrongful entry upon the lands of another; an encroachment or intrusion; (v) to commit a trespass

      There's this thing call "the dictionary", perhaps you've heard of it?

    4. Anonymous Coward

      re: IANAL

      'Merely _entering_ private property without permission is not trespassing otherwise nobody would be able to enter your front yard in order to ring the doorbell.'

      AFAIK in the UK at least there is an implied permission to enter for the purposes of going to the front door to knock etc. Once there if asked to leave the permission is revoked.

  4. Evil_Medic


    As an American who finds this as absurd as you, I request that you not judge me by the company that I keep.


  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    These guys are so private....

    ...they'll have their own reality TV show next!

  6. Cortland Richmond
    Thumb Down

    When you're in a hole

    stop, uh, 'boring."

  7. JohnG Silver badge

    "Private Road" sign

    Whilst the couples action (or that of their lawyer) might have made things worse as far as their privacy goes, it doesn't detract from the fact that Google did invade their privacy. Given that the Google Streetview car apparently passed a "Private Road" sign on their way to the property in question, it is fair to assume that they should have know they were trespassing on someone else's private property.

    I am damn certain that if I got into Eric Schmidt's back garden to take a few photos, with the intention of putting them online, I would be arrested and charged in short order. It is also reasonable to assume that I would be sued.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Just a question ...

      ... in the US, does "Private Road" imply "No unauthorised access" without it specifically being stated? Usually in the UK, the one would be accompanied by the other, because a private road may not have restrictions on its use.

  8. Curtis

    Not exactly

    "Trespassing" is also when someone enters posted property without permission. In most cases, all you have to do is post a sign at the beginning of the driveway that says "posted: no trespassing" or "private drive". For all that i think they're money grubbing d-bags, they have a point. If Google can come onto their property and photograph their home, then so can anyone else. While this may not seem like a big thing, it could be extremely important to their insurance company. Important enough to cause them to lose a high value rider if they didn't fight it in court.

  9. R 11

    A sign can be enough for trespass.

    At least some US states allow a land owner to post No Trespassing signs where after anyone entering the property without permission is guilty of trespass.


    Virginia Code § 18.2-119 defines the crime of trespassing as follows:

    If any person without authority of law goes upon or remains upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing, by the owner, lessee, custodian or other person lawfully in charge thereof, or after having been forbidden to do so by a sign or signs posted by such persons or by the holder of any easement or other right-of-way authorized by the instrument creating such interest to post such signs on such lands, structures, premises or portion or area thereof at a place or places where it or they may be reasonably seen...

  10. Jimmy Floyd

    One meeellion dollars

    "...will have to prove the search firm's photos caused actual damages in order to collect more than one dollar."

    Since when do US damage awards bear any connection to the level of damage suffered?

  11. peyton?
    Paris Hilton

    Lot's of debate about this sign

    Has anyone seen it? The Streetview pics I saw never included a sign.

  12. Keith Oborn

    Can't wait for the British Police -

    - to arrest a Street View driver under Section 44 of the Prevention of Terrorism Act. "Why were you photographing that building/police officer sir?"

    Irresistible Force, meet Immovable Object--.

  13. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    They moan about privacy

    And now because of their very actions, all of us have had a streetview look around their yard and their pool.

    It's like the Streisand effect.

    It IS WRONG if the google car went down a clearly private driveway, but If they were really worried about privacy, they'd not have sued them!

    They are just after the bucks....

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A win on trespass also recoups court and attorney fees

    Almost certain that even a $1 fine for the trespass charge would put all the court and legal fees on Google.

    In much of the US, if property is "Posted" then someone trespassing would be lucky not to be shot at. Many farms are posted because of the problem with illegal hunting on private lands.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      lucky not to be shot at..

      Can you only shoot during the trespass or can you shoot retrospectively? And can anyone join in?

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