US court allows Google Earth image as evidence

An appeals court has ruled that Google Earth images, like photographs, can be used as evidence in a court.

… The Ninth Circuit said that in admitting the evidence it was joining other circuit courts that have held that machine statements aren’t hearsay. A machine could, however, malfunction, produce inconsistent results or have been tampered with. “But such concerns are addressed by the rules of authentication, not hearsay,” according to the court.

… In such authentication, the proponent of the evidence must show that a machine is reliable and correctly calibrated, and that the data put into the machine, in this case the GPS coordinates, is accurate.

Reference: US court allows Google Earth image as evidence

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