Back in April 2008, married couple Aaron and Christine Boring filed suit against Google for “intentional and/or grossly reckless invasion” of their privacy, because a Street View car drove down their Private road and snapped some photos of their house.
Aside from giving the press an opportunity to go pun-crazy, the case has been notable for its longevity: most of the charges, which included negligence, were thrown out in February 2009, but Boring v. Google came back for an encore this year. The lone remaining charge? Trespassing.
Now, over two and a half years after the case got started, a judge has handed down her consent judgement that that Google was indeed guilty of Count II Trespass — and the Borings are getting a grand total of $1 for their trouble. Ouch. Update: Because it’s a Consent Judgement, both Google and the Borings agreed to this settlement.
In other news related to the case, the Borings tried to appeal to the US Supreme Court (yes, seriously). The Court turned down the appeal in October.
This is obviously good news for Google. The case may sound silly, but it could have blown up into a broader examination of Google and online privacy. That didn’t happen, and given the circumstances (it’s hard to believe the Borings had their privacy violated in any significant way), that’s a good thing.
A Google spokesperson gave us this cheeky statement about the case:
“We are pleased that this lawsuit has finally ended with plaintiffs’ acknowledgment that they are entitled to only $1.”