Friday, June 08, 2007

Man does not live by Google alone

After a brief hiatus, I'm back. Just been too busy. This morning, I'm going to do something different for me and point to some news articles. Those who know me, know I've become fascinated with the law, anything that combines law and technology is even better.

C/Net has an article about a county in Pennsylvania who looked for a person using only Google. Seems the guy was behind on his taxes and (as required by law) the county tried to find him. The taxes were on some vacant land, so the notices posted on the land went unnoticed. The county tried to send him a letter, but had the wrong address (provided by Google).

However, had they tried a phone book (remember those things?), they would have found him and he would have happily paid his taxes. Instead, the county sold his property. For those who think this is justified, the time-frame was fairly quick. The taxes were (apparently) due the first of 2004, notices were posted in July & August 2005 and the land sale took place in early 2005. For folks that own land far away, that's short. The courts thought the county should have done more than just google the man.

For the full article, look here.

In slight contrast, the courts have ruled that you SHOULD use Google to find a person. A case in Idiana (which I learned last night borders on Lake Michigan) centered on a plaintiff trying his best to find a defendant, but not trying via Google. The judge chastised him. See that story here.

So the moral to the story is a two-parter: 1) Always use Google and 2) Google alone is not sufficient. Also, I'm a little disappointed. I always say that Google knows everything, I guess it just ain't so...

P.S. If anyone is offended by my subject line, sorry, that's just my style of humor.

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