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The great thing about modern technology is that it makes our lives easier, well, most of our lives that is. For some, it would seem, technology just adds another layer of confusion into the whole living their life thing. Take the many cases of people apparently having to do exactly what their satellite navigation system tells them, without giving any thought to what that might actually be. I've written about stupid satnav users before here on DaniWeb, such as the Australian chap who turned right when directed and failed to spot this was not a highway turn off but the entrance to a building a site where he proceeded to drive his sports utility vehicle up some stairs and crashed into a toilet. Or the London Ambulance Service crew which, instead of taking a patient on a 30 minute and 12 mile trip between hospitals, ended up driving for 200 miles and 8 hours in the completely wrong direction for that matter?

But the strange case of Lauren Rosenberg surely does take the biscuit. According to reports the woman was using Google Maps together with a 'walking route' while walking in Utah, and it told her to walk along "Deer Valley Drive" which turned out to be the sidewalk-less Utah State Route 224. Perhaps unsurprisingly she was hit by a car, although the lawsuit arising from the incident was a little more unexpected as she is suing both Google and the car driver for damages in excess of $100,000 as a result.

It's perhaps bad enough that someone out walking on such a major road, and one without sidewalks, should be suing the driver who was, by all accounts, driving a car on a road without the expectation of someone being out for a stroll. But to then throw Google into the mix is truly bizarre, claiming that it is at fault because Google Maps failed to warn her that there were no sidewalks.

Apparently, according to the lawsuit, the defendant expected Google to provide accurate directions and "as a direct and proximate cause" of it's "careless, reckless, and negligent providing of unsafe directions" she was hit by the car.

I take issue with this, not least as the technology cannot reasonably be expected to replace good old fashioned common sense, or even a modicum of thought, on behalf of the user. Quite apart from the fact that Google Maps makes it clear it is in Beta and the user should use with caution as routes may be "missing sidewalks or pedestrian paths".

The attorney representing Rosenberg in this case, Allen K. Young of Young, Kester and Petro, told Danny Sullivan who broke the story that "it was 6 in the morning" and "it was not a busy street [then]. She believed there was a sidewalk on the other side". Young adds that "it was pitch black" and "Rosenberg "relied on Google that she’d cross there and go down to a sidewalk".

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

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Last Post by cornholebagtoss
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WOW... I have seen some absurd things, but this makes it up there with the craziest. People should know that maps and GPS systems aren't always accurate and proper traffic laws should always be followed. If this person SAW and KNEW that the route had no sidewalk then she should NOT HAVE WALKED IT!!! IT is called COMMON SENSE. Had she died as a result of the accident she would not even be able to sue. I am sorry but she is just looking for ways to make some money.

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In this society, people will always find another person or entity to blame, especially if there is a large pot of gold possibly at the end of the road. In this case, the plaintiff should have realized that Google Maps or GPS is not the same thing as just looking at the road and seeing it yourself.

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So much stupidity these days... :-<
What is Google's fault? It cannot track exactly the whole planet!

Edited by digital29: n/a

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I use google maps to get navigation help inside the colombo city.
I regularly use my symbian 6600 phone with GPRS to access google maps.

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Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else will do it for you.

I wish I could take credit for these words of wisdom, but, honestly, they came to me in an email signature, from a good friend, just before I read this article.

Islandstar

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there is no one to blame but her. I think she enjoy a lot trying her new google map on her phone not knowing that it is not accurate rather than just giving her attention to the traffic laws. great article it will deserved as a knowledge for all techy people nowadays

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I like the story. People can get away with anything. Might as well milk the situation like the women dumping mcdonalds coffee on her and sewing for it being to hot. Why couldn't I think of this!

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