9.5. STREET VIEW
Indignation over privacy has been especially strong from abroad. The British newspaper The Independent wrote, "One of its new ventures, Google Street View, makes government CCTV surveillance look amateur."
Some people became alarmed when they realized Google Street View cameras could zoom in so closely that in one case, people could be seen inside the house. Aaron and Christine Boring, an American couple, unsuccessfully sued Google for $25,000 for showing their house on Google Street View.
"I'm convinced if you look at the actions of Google," said the Borings' attorney, Dennis Moskal, "for a company that says 'don't do evil,' it appears that they didn't have proper internal controls on the people driving around taking these pictures."
In its response to the Borings' lawsuit, Google quoted from a legal text:
Complete privacy does not exist in this world except in a desert, and anyone who is not a hermit must expect and endure the ordinary incidents of the community life of which he is a part. It usually is not against the law to photograph a house from the street, as long as the photographer does not trespass on private property.
The small northern German town of Molfsee—not at all happy at the prospect of becoming part of Street View—anticipated the arrival of Google's fleet of dark-colored Opel Astras with cameras on top. The photography vehicles already had shown up in other parts of Germany, snapping photographs for Google Street View. The 5,000 citizens ...