Well, thank goodness for that. A couple has failed to sue Google for infringing their privacy by - wait for it - including their house in its Street View function on Maps.
It is of course (in my view) ludicrous to state that anything visible in public can't be included in a photograph, particularly when the providers offer to blank out the details as they did in this instance. The fact that the offer was there clearly indicates that by ignoring it the couple left their details visible on purpose.
There's a possibility, however, that similar cases will come up. This is going to open up a whole new debate - or 'can of worms' as I think of it - about what exactly we mean by privacy. The UK, even more than the US, is one of the most photographed and recorded countries in the world - so what, exactly, is 'my' property in terms of images? If I go and stand by the Empire State Building and someone takes a picture of a friend nearby, and I happen to be in the background, should I have a say in whether they're allowed to put it on Flickr?
My answer is 'no, I take that minimal risk by going out in public' - and if I'm in public I'm fair game. The complication arises when a website has to allow for making copies of the picture - one on its main server, one on its backup, technically one on everyone's monitor when they look at it - and sometimes, like Facebook, they find it difficult to write terms and conditions about this that don't accidentally claim ownership of everyone's intellectual property forever.
The debate about what's private and what isn't is clearly going to run for a while. I'm pleased, though, that details you can blank out yourself don't entitle you to compensation.
The full Google story is here.