Google's Street View Is All Up In Your Driveway Looking At Your Basketball Hoop

A Pittsburgh couple has sued Google seeking the removal of photographs that were a little to up close and personal for their tastes.
The couple, Aaron and Catherine Boring, have succeeded in getting the photos yanked from the site, but the industrious minds over at the Smoking Gun found another even more intrusive set of photos taken by the search giant.

The home of Janet and George McKee is the only property on Goldenbrook Lane, a narrow, gravel path off Oakleaf Lane, a two-way street. The McKee residence is at the end of Goldenbrook Lane, which the family was able to name at the time their home was built in 1993. As the “Street View” images show, a Google vehicle–outfitted with a roof-mounted camera taking 360-degree images–drove down the gravel path and onto the paved driveway leading to the McKee home. The Google car continued past the steps leading to the McKees’s front door and came to a stop outside the house’s three-car garage (and next to the family’s trampoline and portable basketball rim). Taking photos all the time, the Google vehicle was squarely on private property, a fact that presumably should have been apparent when the gravel path became paved.

Janet McKee, who was unaware of the “Street View” images until contacted by TSG, said that it was “a little bit creepy to think of someone filming our home without me knowing about it.”

And it was probably even creepier when the Smoking Gun called to compliment her on the family basketball hoop.

Oh, who the hell are we kidding. We’re just looking for an excuse to post this picture again.
cabrillohwy.jpg Google Street View, you are the source of endless amusement.

Warning: Google Is In Your Driveway! [The Smoking Gun]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    How is this different from the front door of my apartment building being in full display?

    People are jokes.

  2. Ghede says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: Because you don’t own the street your apartment is on. They own the driveway, not only that, but apartments don’t typically have property outside of them belonging to tenants.

  3. IrisMR says:

    I remember back when we were paranoid about satellites up there checking all our activities.

    Why satellites? You just have to use Google… It’s a bit creepy.

  4. zoso01 says:

    The vehicles that drive around and take pictures are not actually Google owned. All of their map data is from a company called NAVTEQ. Google just pays for the use of their map data. So while requesting Google to take down the pictures is fine and all, if a person is wanting to sue someone for invasion of privacy it should be NAVTEQ and not Google.

  5. Moosehawk says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: Because they’re on private property.

  6. hubris says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: Did you look at the pictures? Their house is not in plain view from the street, the car had to go UP their driveway until it got to their house. That shit is creepy.

    It’s Street View, not Your Front Living Room Viewâ„¢.

  7. Me - now with more humidity says:

    The best part of this is their name… LOL

  8. friendlynerd says:

    It is creepy but having your story picked up by the AP is not the best way to enhance your privacy.

  9. TheMattSmith says:

    I think you’re all missing the bigger picture here.

    They had the chance to name the street they live anything they wanted, and they went with “Goldenbrook Lane”.

    Why not “Meadowlark” or “Honeysuckle”?

    Seems fishy to me.

  10. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @friendlynerd: Clearly only concerned with money. I can see how the Google van driver could “forget” he’s driving a camera equipped van and pull into a driveway to turn around. Or maybe he didn’t realize the driveway was not part of the road. Either way, it doesn’t look malicious and if Google took the images down, leave it at that.

  11. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Ok so people can see that you have a basketball hoop. If they care so much about their privacy put up a ****ing fence.

    I understand that its private property, but what harm could possibly come out of this?

    Why go out of your way to SUE over such a trivial thing?

    The fact that people get their panties in a bunch of such crap just pisses me off.

    I’m sorry.

  12. PinkNightmare says:


    If you scroll down a bit on this link, you’ll find the picture of the dude and the sign and it says he’s “fixing his bike.”

  13. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: Really! I’m actually kind of excited at the prospect of my street hitting Google Street View. I already think it’s cool that I can clearly see my house (albeit from 10 years ago) in detail using Maps’ satellite view.

  14. rewinditback says:

    there’s a picture of me getting into my car on street view.

  15. Raanne says:

    so if its a street, that, instead of ends, it turns into your driveway, is it that unreasonable for the driver to not realize that the street has ended and the driveway has begun?

  16. moore850 says:

    I want to get a picture with me playing in a rock band on the street in google street view, like a diorama setting. Since you can’t listen to google street view, the equipment wouldn’t have to be plugged in, but it would look great.

  17. IrisMR says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: The point is that their house isn’t even VISIBLE from the street.

    They had to go in their ALLEY to take pictures of their home. Taking pictures from the street is legal but this isn’t the case. And frankly, I hate that thing Google is doing. It’s the equivalent of the annoying old freak that walks down the street at night and stares through your window.

  18. APFPilot says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: @Nicholas_schaulsohn: RTFA two different families, same street.

  19. CMU_Bueller says:

    They’re money grubbers. It’s not the first time their home has been posted online. Google’s only getting sued because they have more money and are more likely to settle than the Boring’s county assessor.

  20. bonzombiekitty says:

    If you follow the path the van took on google maps, the road the van drives up essentially turns into their driveway. The road is a private road (which has several houses on it), but there’s nothing on that road indicating it as such. So the van driver was probably just driving along, went down the dirt road and ended up at the person’s house, went “oh” and turned around in the driveway. Can’t blame google on that one. The road needs to be visibly marked as a private road, which it isn’t.

  21. coan_net says:

    I have not went to see what exactly this looks like on Google…

    BUT – I have been on many PUBLIC lanes & roads which all of a sudden turn into a private drive with NO PLACE TO TURN AROUND without driving in the grass.

    Again, I have not looked – but I would guess it was a public lane which turned into the private drive way… in which they went up, turned around, and left…. which of course the camera was running the whole time.

    And if that was the case, then I excuse the person driving up there to turn around. Of course I don’t excuse the continuing of photo taken once on private property without permission to do so.

  22. clnclarinet says:

    The funniest thing about these people being in Pittsburgh is that pictures of their houses along with who owns them and how much they’re worth are also on the Allegheny County Assessment website (searchable by street name), and they’re not making a big stink about that.

    Allegheny County Assessment search

    image of the McKee house

  23. bonzombiekitty says:

    @coan_net: That’s basically what happened. The house is at the end of a private dirt road. The private road forks off of normal paved public road. It is not marked as a private road, but there is a sign marking the name of the road. There’s no way to know without looking through town records that it’s a private road.

  24. Frank_Trapasso says:

    If these people are so fucking anal about their privacy, they should have a gate. Last I checked, the street was public property.

  25. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @clnclarinet: BIG difference. I don’t see a basketball hoop. Some geeky thief might see that and try to yoink it.

  26. gqcarrick says:

    @Frank_Trapasso: So if you had a super long driveway to your home and google just decided to drive on up to see what is at the end you would be find with that?

  27. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @gqcarrick: I’d rather them turn around in my super big patio than turn around in my super narrow driveway leaving tire tracks in the grass.

  28. Nicholas_schaulsohn says:

    Google street view is awesome and helpful. The dude driving the car probably made an honest mistake. Do you think that Google gives a flying crap about the drive way?

    My point is that this is not a big deal. Yes, they took pictures of private property. Who cares? No harm was intended and no harm could have come from it.

  29. Raanne says:

    @gqcarrick: except they dont have a super long driveway. they have a road which leads up to their driveway. thats a big difference. Their driveway starts when it suddenly became paved.

  30. gqcarrick says:

    @Raanne: And if you drove down their road wouldn’t you think to stop when you saw a paved part. Wouldn’t the separation mean something to anyone with some common sense?

  31. gqcarrick says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: Leave all the tire tracks you want, just don’t invade someone’s privacy.

  32. Milstar says:

    What most of you probably do not realize is that real estate appraisers do this all the time for comparables to home sales that they are appraising.

    Seriously I do not see what the big deal is. What if my car broke down on that road and I walked up to their home for help? Is that a breach of privacy to then?

  33. Raanne says:

    @gqcarrick: was there a turn around, or a way to go back, without pulling into the driveway?

  34. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @gqcarrick: Stay away from my driveway then. If the only place to turn around is the giant patio in front of the three-car garage, I’d rather you do that than drive on the grass.

  35. gqcarrick says:

    @Raanne: who cares? There is a clear division of a road and a driveway going from stone to pavement. If there is no turn around you make one. Thank god I live in the country.

  36. gqcarrick says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: Well thats fine, for YOUR driveway, clearly if the road was that long leading up to their house they could have turned around somewhere else.

  37. Nytmare says:

    When you name your own driveway with a street sign, don’t get upset when someone accidentally drives up it.

  38. bonzombiekitty says:

    @gqcarrick: You’re assuming there was an appropriate place/way to turn around when the drive way was reached. The road this house on was just wide enough for the van plus a small amount of space. There’s no way to do a K turn on that road. By the time the you get to the people’s driveway, there’s trees on either side. Without backing up down the road, which could be dangerous, the option is to just use the driveway.

    Even if there are no trees on either side, I’d rather use a person’s driveway rather than risk getting stuck in dirt or ruining a person’s lawn.

  39. Alger says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: So would you be OK with somebody just walking up to your window and staring inside?

    So they’re trespassing on your property? Don’t get your panties in a twist.

    So they’re looking inside your house? Install shades if you don’t want anybody doing that.

    So they’re trampling on your flowers? Put up a gate.

    Right. Sure.

  40. djanes1 says:

    Dick Laurant is DEAD!

  41. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    @Alger: Yeah. I’d be pissed if Google took their camera off the van and placed it on my window sill, looking inside. Otherwise, you’re not seeing anything more than the general public would walking or driving down your street. (Or in this case, getting lost and turning around in your driveway.)

    How many times have you had people turn around in your driveway Alger? At my old house, this happened almost daily.

  42. gqcarrick says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Its called a 3 point turn. Pull in the driveway, back out onto the road and drive back down from where you came from, not that difficult. Thats all you need to do, not drive all the way down the driveway.

  43. milk says:

    Hooray for living in Texas, where all problems can be solved with rifles.

  44. matsayz says:

    okay so no one would’ve known about this one teeny road until it got posted all over the internets…she should’ve stayed quiet and let it pass over. now EVERYONE and their 2nd cousin are checking out what this house looks like. time to move…….

  45. gqcarrick says:

    @no name: HAHAHA Nice one. Same thing out here in the country in NY. You definitely don’t trespass on a farmer’s land.

  46. bonzombiekitty says:

    @gqcarrick: That’s a K turn, which is what I mentioned. Looking at the images, it’s not possible to do such a turn. The road seems to turn into the driveway and is approx the same width as the driveway. Look at the first image in the article. That’s basically what the road is. I wouldn’t risk trying to do a K turn in a van on that road – I’d drive until there was more room.

    There’s not enough room in order to perform such a maneuver without going into the woods, down a hill, and/or onto the grass.

  47. hellinmyeyes says:

    Wow, there’s a lot of blame-the-victim here today. I don’t see why anyone should be comfortable or complacent with this. Sure, “you wouldn’t mind it as long as you’re not doing anything shady” or whatever, but that’s not the point. I’m sure these people wouldn’t mind it if Google ran software on their computers detailing each and every site they went to and what they were typing to friends on IM? These people have a very reasonable expectation of privacy. I certainly don’t buy the “well, the cameras were rolling when they had to find a place to turn around” argument. C’mon, gimme a break. The property assessor is legally obligated to obtain information/photos of the property, and that becomes a public record, but in many jurisdictions they are permitted to take photos only from a certain buffer distance from dwellings. (It becomes a search/seizure issue, then.)

  48. bonzombiekitty says:

    @matsayz: Yeah, there’s a name for that phenomenon, I just forget what it is. Somebody tries to get someone to take “private” information off the internet, and suddenly that “private” information ends up being EVERYWHERE.

  49. bonzombiekitty says:

    @hellinmyeyes: I think the main point is that the people are so upset over it and SUING over it. It’s one thing to say “Hey, you accidentally took some pictures you shouldn’t have, could you take them down?”, which Google has the avenues available in which to make such a request. It’s another thing to sue them over it.

    Google inadvertently took some images it shouldn’t have. They took them down. No harm done. Get on with your lives.

  50. cashmerewhore says:

    And you can go to many county auditor’s websites and look up how much anybody paid for the property, the yearly taxes (and if they’re behind on payments), as well as get a picture and floorplan of the first floor (showing garages/decks and entrances).

    PLUS, a map showing you the cross-streets!

    All public information.

  51. Alger says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: You know, while I might cut somebody some slack on the trespassing thing for turning around in my driveway, it’s a little different if they drive up my driveway, take pictures of everything around, and then post them on the Internet.

    So maybe you’re not creeped out about it — but I am, and since they are trespassing when they take pictures like this, the law actually backs up this particular privacy preference.

    And, again, this particular house isn’t visible from the street. So there is a reasonable expectation of privacy from casual observation.

  52. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Alger: Of course. But I doubt Google actually thought “hey! lets post these images that we accidentally took and had no right to take!” nor did they think “Let’s drive down this random person’s driveway and take pictures of their house and put it on the internet!”

    Should the pictures have been taken down? yes.
    Were they taken down? Yes.
    Is there any damage caused to the owners of the house? I highly doubt it.

  53. econobiker says:

    Not as good as google street picture of a driver’s side window money transaction with bystander in the street taken in a bad part of town posted on jalopnik recently. The photo van even got the license plate of the car!!!

  54. GearheadGeek says:

    Sheesh… the cameras were no closer to the house and the pictures are in no greater detail than the pictures all down my street… most of the houses here are close to the street with a small front yard and larger back yard, so it’s 40 feet or so from my living room window to the street where the camera vehicle drove by.

    Since my driveway doesn’t have a city street sign on it like theirs does, no one drove down it. If you don’t like the occasional mistaken driver driving down your driveway, replace the cutesy city street sign with a “PRIVATE DRIVE” sign. If you care so much about keeping people off your land, a simple sign will eliminate most of the problem.

    Unless Google resisted or ignored a duly served request to remove the images, I think the whole thing is ridiculous. If they took the images down with reasonable speed, they should counter for legal fees. I’m sure Google could rack up quite a bill.

  55. gqcarrick says:

    @bonzombiekitty: It might be a K turn where you are, but its a 3 point turn here. And I don’t know how big you think this vehicle is, it would be easily possible to pull into the driveway and back onto the road and drive back down. Anyone should be able to do that unless the guy is driving a Semi. You can clearly see there is plenty of room, there isn’t woods all over on that road, look at the first picture, its a long sweeping curve, you should easily be able to do make a 3 point turn there.

  56. scoosdad says:

    The reason for this screwup is simple– the Google Street View vehicle isn’t driven by a human, it’s a bot.

  57. trekkieb47 says:

    I don’t know why the article says the images were taken down. I fired up Google Maps and you can still street view the whole thing.

  58. JCake says:

    Everyone seems to be talking about the wrong people here. The people with the basketball court didn’t sue – they just said it was creepy, right? So stop being so nasty.

  59. Raanne says:

    @gqcarrick: the only distinction between the driveway and the road is that it is paved vs. unpaved. the driveway doesn’t turn off the road – it is an extention of the road. so they could not “turn into the driveway then back into the road” as that would be pulling forward than reversing – no turning involved. When you look at the smoking gun images, you can tell that they drove that far until they got to the spot large enough to turn around, turned around, and left.

    I still don’t see a problem with them being on a private road. If there are multiple houses on the road, then its not a driveway. my house is on a private road – thats still the road that my address is, so if someone types in my address to try and get directions to it, googlemaps needs to know where it is.

  60. hazelwoodfarm says:

    @Alger: You are absolutely right. Private property…Keep Out. The number one reason I have NRA “Firearms in Use – Keep Out” signs posted every 50′ around my farm.

  61. Chad LaFarge says:

    If there’s a street sign (there is) and there is no warning of Private Drive/Property (there isn’t) and there is no opportunity to turn around without going on mud and leaving rutts (there isn’t), then the driver was doing his/her job. They were driving the streets, and went out of their way to not damage the soft shoulder and turn around in a driveway, which was the first place encountered with enough space to do so.

    Thank you, Google driver, for not leaving rutts on the shoulder and protecting the gravel road from erosion in the process.

    Today you are a hero to rural (or at least secluded) property owners everywhere.

    Next time I’d shut off the camera when I cross onto the paved driveway… k?

  62. SOhp101 says:

    @hellinmyeyes: No one’s comfortable with what happened to the couple but no one approves of what the couple is doing either.

    Many streets in America do suddenly become private roads and the way to prevent public traffic from entering your property is using a sign that says “private drive” or “private property” or “no trespassing” etc.

    They could have easily asked Google to take down their information but they decided to go the sue-happy route “because that’s the only way to do it with big corporations.” They’re just a whiny couple that wants a couple hundred thousand. Hope Google gets it dismissed so they don’t have to pay them a dime (maybe even countersue these bastards).

  63. jeff303 says:

    @matsayz: Hooray Streisand effect!

  64. hazelwoodfarm says:

    @Milstar: Come down my driveway…meet a gun!

  65. bonzombiekitty says:

    @gqcarrick: I think you are misunderstanding the point I am trying to make. There’s is no driveway to “turn into”. From my understanding the road suddenly becomes the driveway – they are one and the same.

  66. bonzombiekitty says:

    @bonzombiekitty: And to add to my last comment. No, I do not think there is enough room to turn around on the road in the first picture. There’s a decline on one side of the road with grass and grass and trees on on the other side. It’s not possible to do a K turn there without going off the road, which is dangerous to do on one side due to the small hill, and risk damaging grass on both sides of the road. The courteous thing to do is continue until there’s enough room to turn around on a paved/gravel area.

  67. Sherryness says:

    This surpasses anything George Orwell imagined. We’ve reached a whole new level of “creepy.” Not to mention downright scary.

  68. Alger says:

    @bonzombiekitty: No, Google didn’t think that. But they set up a creepy privacy-invading “service”, and they didn’t put any safeguards in place to avoid exactly this situation.

    As for the damages, there’s the implicit damage caused by trespass. And by the violation of privacy.

    Of course, the homeowner made it worse by suing instead of asking for the take-down, but that doesn’t excuse the original offense here.

  69. Alger says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Yes, that’s part of the “courteous thing to do”.

    The other part of the “courteous thing to do” is TURN OFF THE CAMERAS WHILE YOU’RE ON PRIVATE PROPERTY.

  70. bigmac12 says:

    Obviously their 50cal auto targeting and firing machine guns were offline at the time.


  71. Roy Hobbs says:

    I grew up about a mile from this place. In defense of the couple, this road is so far off the beaten path that I might feel a little like my privacy was violated.

    That said, they are still douchebags.

  72. descend says:


    Absolutely! Google has the right to do anything they want. Google deserves absolute control. Google is my master.

  73. Chad LaFarge says:

    @Alger: The safeguard they have in place is a very simple way to report inappropriate images. When you find something that should not be there, click “Street View Help”. You’ll then see this (at the bottom of the page):

    Report Inappropriate Image
    Google takes concerns about its services very seriously. Please use the link below to report concerns about an inappropriate street view.

    Then click “Report Inappropriate Image”.

    So much easier than filing suit.

  74. Concerned_Citizen says:

    No big deal, at their request google will remove the images.

  75. HawkWolf says:

    blaming the victim: they should put up a gate. (not really blame, but really, I bet they’re going to think about putting up a gate of some kind now.)

    blaming google: they shouldn’t drive all the way up a driveway to a house to turn around, with the camera turned on.

  76. forgottenpassword says:

    Well, If I had a long driveway (basically a private road) with my house (that wasnt visible from the road) at the end of it…. I wouldnt want google taking pics of it all & then posting it online. Its private property, not public. I grew up in a rural area where there were a lot of very long driveways…. its so people can have their privacy.

    It wouldnt be hard to believe that a criminal would use google maps/streetview to scope out secluded properties to case & rob.

    Hobbyists in the metal detecting community do it (not to rob, but to scope out prospective areas to gain permission to metal detect on).

  77. forgottenpassword says:

    And to all those saying…. “just tell google to remove the pictures & they will do it”, ….. by then the damage is already done (meaning pics of your private property have been posted publicly online for anyone to see.

    Private property protection in rural areas is a serious thing. It isnt the same as in some suburb. When you have property out in the sticks, where it takes forever for the local sherrif to come IF you ever need them, you are basically on your own when it comes to protecting it & yourself. Sometimes you dont want someone scoping out your place for no good reason (and google maps made it easy for people to do so in this instance).

  78. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    May have been already mentioned…

    The are bringing more attention to themselves by doing this.

  79. ikes says:

    @hazelwoodfarm: here’s a tip for you, tough guy – no one cares about you or your property, so just put your little gun away.

  80. President Beeblebrox says:

    @SOhp101: “(maybe even countersue these bastards).”

    …counterclaim for what, pray tell?

  81. hellinmyeyes says:

    @bonzombiekitty: [about suing for it]

    I’ll concede that a lot of people are particularly litigious over simple things these days, but the lawsuit is a particularly effective means of getting a corporation to end ridiculous practices. The whole mental anguish argument is pretty much crap, but it’s their means of making sure Google, et al, don’t continue this kind of invasive publishing. That’s what the civil courts are there for.

    I do agree with a couple of the posts that suggest that people in this kind of property situation should put up “private drive” signs, but that doesn’t mean the pictures should’ve been taken and published in the first place.

  82. forgottenpassword says:


    You should read my earlier posts… because I assume you dont live on a remote property where you just may NEED a firearm to protect yourself IF anything happens. And where it takes the local sheriff forever to arrive.

    I grew up in a nice , calm, quiet rural area. Where neighbors knew each other. Then one day some local punks from the nearby town decided to rob one of the houses on our road that were on vacation. The neighbor next door saw an unfamiliar car in the driveway & knew the residents were on vacation & went to check it out. The two punks killed the guy as he approached. COme to find out that he had called the sheriff about it, but they were too busy to check it out in a timely manner. Too bad he didnt have a firearm on him when he went over.

    People who live in remote areas…. NEEED to have & own firearms.

  83. elislider says:

    oh man i love street view. i was telling my friend about a Supra i saw in a neighborhood near me. i drive past there all the time (many times a week) and never saw the car before. i looked it up on streetview to show them the house i saw it at, and lo and behold the supra was in the driveway in the picture. freakin crazy

  84. cde says:

    @Diet-Orange-Soda: Yea, but you can see a plastic lawn chair in the county assesors pic…

  85. trujunglist says:

    Oh no, and now your name, address, the pictures they took, and everything else about you is on the internet for all to see! Sue in a court and keep your privacy! No one will ever know about you now!
    I’m sure everyone in the world really gives a shit about your house you fucking egomaniacs. Goddamn, I mean I WAS going to check out Wall St. or maybe Michigan Dr. but fuck, everyone knows the REAL action is at 1234 Whogivesafuck Lane!

  86. ElizabethD says:

    Boring thread. Yawn.

    (sorry! devil made me do it)

  87. trujunglist says:


    That sure is a nice tramampoline ya’ll got there… I’m sure it’ll fit nicely in the back of my Accord.

    I don’t think you get as much info from a picture of a house as you get from oh, I don’t know, walking up to the door, knocking on it, pretending you’re selling Girl Scout cookies, checking for a dog, etc etc etc etc etc etc etsdkfs;dkfms

  88. forgottenpassword says:


    clever thieves use all kinds of resources to find out about the places they rob from. The clever ones are the ones that rarely get caught. Its the desperate dipshit thieves who dont plan anything out that often get caught.

    ANd thieves will steal ANYTHING. from a trampoline to all kinds of goodies inside the house.

    Nevermind the fact its easier for someone to scope out a bunch of places online (via googlemaps/streetview) than to physically drive out & walk up the driveway.

    Keep in mind that a lot of thieves are neighborhood kids just looking for something to do out in the sticks. Living in a rural are, we had all kinds of things stolen out of the barns.

    Also…. people living in rural areas dont get many strangers coming up to their door. Its suspicous when someone DOES. Thieves might want to avoid that.

  89. elf6c says:

    The best part of the “follow-up” when their homeowner’s insurance company cancels them for having a trampoline (shown in picture). You have a better shot of keeping your homeowners policy in place if you own a couple of pitbulls with attitude problems then one of those.

    Once that gets in the CLUE database their life is going to be fun.

  90. consumersaur says:

    You don’t have to label your driveway “private” for it to be so, just like a “NO TRESPASSING” sign isn’t needed to file a trespassing complaint.

  91. mikelotus says:

    all those that think these people have no valid complaint, I expect to see pictures of outside and inside of your domicile posted on your profile here or a link to the posting. Will be checking tomorrow and if you don’t, i will have to call you out for your hypocrisy on my blog. i will add my blog’s link to my profile tomorrow. have a nice day.

  92. BrockBrockman says:

    And here Consumerist is reposting the Google Images. Shall we not also condemn this site for public invasion, or whatever we’re pissed off at Google for? No – wait – it’s okay for this site to do it because somebody else already did it.

  93. Justin42 says:

    It kind of surprises me that people on this site seem so blase about this. Having a street level view of anyone’s house, available to anyone who wants to look, seems like a bit of an invasion of privacy… sure it’s no worse than someone who walks by, but my house is available for people on the street to see who walk PAST MY HOUSE.. not someone on the internet thousands of miles away.

    Definitely creepy, even beyond this story. I think Street View is cool for commercial areas, etc, but residential is an entirely different story.

  94. Blinker says:

    Just by looking at their house Im sure they can afford a gate and probably should if they are that anal. Of course they probably got all that money by suing big companies for stupid trivial little things.

  95. Concerned_Citizen says:

    @forgottenpassword: Please explain the damage? I see none.

  96. forgottenpassword says:


    Having your private property showcased on google streetview for everyone to see. That is “damage”. As in privacy illegally invaded.

    Its his private property & the owner has a say over who can or cant take a picture of it from ON said private property.

    If the guy had a house that could easily been photographed from the street, then there is no issue. But this isnt the case.

    You cannot go onto someone’s property & take pictures of it without their permission. Just as simple as that.

  97. Blinker says:


    Sorry but I have no sympathy for the rich. Us poor people cant AFFORD to live in seclusion therefor we have no privacy? if everyone cant have complete privacy then no one should

  98. forgottenpassword says:


    RICH???? Do you know that a LOT of rural properties (where land is cheaper) have long driveways? And a lot are hardly “rich”! If you get out far enough, land can be pretty cheap.

    You dont really need to be rich to live in “seclusion”. The dirt-poor neighbors I had growing up owned a tiny piece of property & one trailer on it…. and they lived in seclusion because it was VERY far off the road, covered in trees and were bordered by other’s land.

    Btw…. My parents owned about 80 rural acres that they paid on for most of their lives & believe me…. they were FAR from “rich”. I’d say lower middle class at best.

  99. john42 says:

    Seems to me that this is more about getting caught with a trampoline in their yard than privacy. That can easily get their insurance policy canceled for one.

  100. CMU_Bueller says:

    @forgottenpassword: But you HAVEN’T shown us damage yet. A mistake was made, and Google has provided a way for said mistakes to be fixed.

  101. forgottenpassword says:


    so Having your private property showcased online for anyone to see isnt damage? Isnt invasion of privacy… “damage”. If I illegally took a pic of your balls (with your face in the shot) & posted it on the net for all to see… there is no “damage”?

    Invasion of privacy IS “damage”.

  102. CMU_Bueller says:

    @forgottenpassword: Lovely, now you’re talking about balls. Way to bring everyone’s IQ down a couple notches.

  103. uricmu says:

    The story at the post-gazette was that the driveway had a clear “private” sign to it. I’ve seen other houses in Pittsburgh with those kind of markings. I haven’t looked at google to see if the sign is actually visible. But the argument was that they went past the private sign.

  104. StevieD says:

    There are many “private” drives that have names. Sometimes there several diffent homes (with different house numbers) on the drive.

    Is it private? Maybe.

    It may also be public.

    I know of one that was just turned over to the city (so the city is now responsible for upkeep).

    It WAS a private drive, now it is a public street. If you didn’t live here would you know the difference?

    Looks like the driver made an honest mistake. It was removed. Move on.

  105. Xkeeper says:

    Simple solution: “Private property” sign where the road begins.

    That’s all it takes.

  106. UNSTOPPABLE says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: They were not looking to get the pictures pulled. They were looking for some of that fat Google cheese. Americans and lawsuits are the biggest running joke ever.

  107. ajmccoll says:

    What is the difference between me using StreetView to virtually “drive” down their drive way to their house, and me actually getting in my car and driving down their driveway to their house?

    Answer: I can’t get out of my car, look into their windows, and possibly steal stuff from their house using StreetView!

    This whole thing is a joke. There is no harm in having your “private” drive displayed publicly on the internet when it would be just as easy to actually drive down this driveway and stare at their house in person!

    And I also have to say that I live on a “private” drive, albeit an unnamed one, but I wouldn’t care if the StreetView van drove down my private drive, up my driveway, and drove through my house!

    If this was my house, I would think it was awesome. Now people can actually use StreetView to figure out where they are going…right up to the house.

  108. aphexbr says:

    @forgottenpassword: I’m with the other guys here – you’re definitely exaggerating the amount of “damage” here.

    The information isn’t live, therefore useless to thieves trying to remotely case the house (e.g. how do they know a gate/cameras/whatever haven’t been installed since the photos were taken? They don’t.) There is absolutely no additional information than a person would see by driving down that driveway and turning around, which probably happens every week if not every day.

    From the look of the photos, there was no warning before reaching the driveway that the road would disappear, and the driver simply drove to the closest safe place to turn around. If they want privacy, surely posting a sign warning people that it’s private property would be a good start?

    Besides which, this is a great example of the Streisand effect in action. If they had just had the images removed, it’s unlikely that caches would have existed outside of Google for any length of time so problem solved with no damage. By suing, they have attracted international media attention and so these pictures will NEVER go away – there will always be a site that has a local copy of the above photos linked with their names. Pretty dumb of them, huh?

    Btw, if you truly equate someone looking at your house with someone looking at your balls, you have other issues.

  109. bonzombiekitty says:

    @aphexbr: yeah, The Streisand effect — that’s the name of the phenomenon I couldn’t think of earlier. This is why I am really inclined to agree that their main goal is to just get money. If they were truly worried about privacy, they would have gone through the appropriate channels that Google provides and not jumped to a law suit. By suing, they ensured that those images would be plastered everywhere. And I’m still entirely unconvinced that the images cause any real damage that other people would want to be aware of and look out for.

    There’s nothing on there that a potential thief can’t already get through other easy means. I.e. public records, looking at a map and choosing an isolate road and driving down it, etc.

  110. ogman says:

    Okay, I thought this was a frivolous suit, but now that I see that Google was on their private property, in their driveway, I think Google is lucky the Borings are only suing for $25,000.00.

    That whole “do no evil” thing is slipping away from Google.

  111. Guizzy says:

    @ogman: Nah, they still don’t do evil.

    They just raise the stakes, making it more and more dangerous should they ever really do evil.

  112. LionelEHutz says:

    @Nicholas_schaulsohn: Nick, ever hear of a nifty legal concept called trespass.