Google Street View: Walking the Line of Privacy-Intrusion upon Seclusion and Publicity Given to Private Facts in the Digital Age

Jordan E. Segall


On a snowy evening, a man hears of a new restaurant opening in a distant suburb of his metropolis and looks for driving directions to take his significant other out for a romantic evening. He opens Google and conducts a driving direction search. As they have never been to the location, and as the weather is not optimal, they check the layout of the roads in order to alleviate safety concerns through Google's Street View Program.1 They click on the images next
to the proposed turns and see a picture of a man walking with a woman at the intersection. Later it is disclosed in the news that this individual is a high-ranking government official and the woman is not his wife, but his mistress.2 In another image, a smoker is lounging in the background, hiding his addiction from his family and friends.3 With another click of the mouse he sees sunbathers sitting on top of the roof of a building, enjoying the warm summer day as well as the seeming privacy and anonymity of their rooftop abode.

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