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[liberationtech] Comment from V. Mayer-Schoenberg re Berlin Google ruling

Cyrus Farivar cfarivar at
Mon Mar 21 05:41:19 PDT 2011

Comment from Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger (reprinted here with his
permission) regarding the Berlin Google Street View ruling today

"It means very little. For two reasons: (a) the case was not about a Google
Streetview camera spying over a garden fence (these are the interesting
cases), and (b) the plaintiff never alleged an actual invasion of privacy,
just a potential one.

I expect many more cases of actual snooping over the fence and actual
depiction of people through apartment windows will come up.

Also, judges will slowly but surely grasp that even the fact that one can
obfuscate oneself or his/her house on StreetView does not provide
anonymity, but rather sends an additional signal.

I would not be surprised, though, if we'll see no appeal in this case -
too limited in scope.



Cyrus Farivar
"suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var"

 Freelance Technology Journalist
cfarivar at

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