Rare coin dealer and Jupiter, Florida resident Jonathon Harris sued the Google in February of 2010. He claimed that they listed his home address instead of the address of his business on Google Phonebook searches between 2007 and 2010. The suit called for compensation for emotional damages for the stress Google caused him over his own wellbeing as well as his loved ones.
He pointed out that, despite Google's written policy that guarantees the removal of such erroneous information within two days of notification, the company failed to do so after Harris sent them several additional requests. According to Harris, Google initially heeded a written request for them to take information down from their listing, but then it appeared again repeatedly. Harris claimed that Google ignored subsequent requests.
In April of 2010, Google removed the complaint for trial in federal court. Eric Goldman of Technology and Marketing Blog, cites a similar cases tried previously: Barnes V. Yahoo and Boring v. Google. The lynch pin, for Goldman, hinges precisely around whether he is suing Google for releasing his personal information in the first place, or for ignoring his requests that they take it down.
It would be difficult For Harris to prove that the lawsuit would have been the most straightforward or efficient way of actually solving the problem versus other venues. Also, Harris's claim may encounter some difficulties because Google Phonebook is technically a third party organization. If so, this should exempt Google under a law, USC 230, according to Goldman.
Similar charges have been leveled against Myspace in the case of a 1996 sexual assault that occurred as a result of communication exchanges on their site. If the court dismissed Myspace for a crime that actually occurred as a result of information from their website, Goldman is not optimistic with regard to their sympathy toward Harris over a crime that could potentially have resulted.
Regardless of whether or not federal court throws out Harris's case as Goldman predicts or not, the lesson for a coin dealer holds: make sure not to mix business and pleasure. Coin collections represent an excellent target for armed robbers. If you plan to put a coin collection together, it is of the utmost importance to protect yourself and your family from potential danger by keeping your coins both protected and in an area located a safe distance from your home. Contact your local post office for rates on a safety deposit box or your local numismatic association for advice on how another coin dealer in your locale deal with this problem.