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Minnesota Town Opts-Out Of Google StreetView; Google Fights Back Against “Private Property” Claim In Another Case
I got a chuckle out of this one. It seems that Google sent their cars that do
StreetView photography for Google Maps into a private neighborhood in Minnesota.
That neighborhood, North Oaks, demanded that Google remove all the images. As
the roads are private, Google potentially trespassed to take the pictures.
Google’s complied in this case. In a different one, the company is fighting back in court. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Google spokeswoman Elaine Filadelfo said the images of North Oaks were
removed shortly afterward. She didn’t know of any other city in the country
that has made a similar request.
"This is very rare where an entire town would request to be taken off,"
The company receives a limited number of requests from individuals who
don’t want their homes displayed on the website. All of these images are
removed from public view and would never be sold, Filadelfo said.
For more, see related discussion
Google Seeks Dismissal Of Street View Lawsuit covers a different case that’s
in court, where Google has now argued that it has the right to enter private
property and take pictures. From the article:
"Plaintiffs have drawn the public eye upon themselves and the view of their
home they claim is private," the memorandum states. "Plaintiffs did not seek
to file their Complaint under seal, they unnecessarily included their street
address in the Complaint, and they did not ask Google to remove the images of
their property before they filed suit."
The Borings, the legal memorandum explains, "live in a residential
community in the twenty-first century United States, where every step upon
private property is not deemed by law to be an actionable trespass."
Because it is customary for people to "drive on our driveways and approach
our homes," Google’s attorneys argue, these intrusions and customary and
expected. "Thus, unless there is a clear expression such as a gate, fence, or
‘keep out’ sign," anyone can approach without liability for trespass.
"Plaintiff’s allegation of a ‘private road’ sign at the top of their street
standing alone is insufficient to negate Google’s privileged and trivial entry
upon Plaintiff’s property."
While Google’s attorneys may be correct in their assessment of the law,
their hard line on privacy contrasts with statements made by Google’s
U.S. Pentagon Bans
Google From Military Bases also covers how Google has found itself banned
from military bases in the United States.