Google Fined for Showing Cleavage on Street View

Maria Pia Grillo wins $2K from tech giant
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 31, 2014 8:21 AM CDT
Google Fined for Showing Cleavage on Street View
A car with roof-mounted digital imaging equipment circles neighborhoods in Racine, Wis., on Sept. 13, 2011.   (AP Photo/Journal Times, Mark Hertzberg)

The latest embarrassment for Google Street View: Google has been fined more than $2,000 after its mapping feature showed an image of a woman's cleavage. A Montreal judge found that Maria Pia Grillo's privacy was invaded in having "part of her breast exposed," Gigaom reports, citing local media. The Canadian woman looked up her house on Street View in 2009 and found the picture, in which she's sitting on her front stoop, leaning forward and displaying her cleavage. Her face was blurred, but not enough to make her unrecognizable. She says she complained to Google soon after and got no response, then sent Google a letter arguing that she was "at the mercy of potential predators" thanks to the picture; the company says it never got the letter, Ars Technica reports.

And so in 2011 Grillo filed a complaint against Google, demanding it blur the rest of her body and her license plate (shown in the photo), as well as pay her $45,000 Canadian for emotional damage she said she suffered as a result of the photo (including mockery from colleagues at the bank she worked at; she ultimately quit her job). Google agreed to alter the photo but not to pay. A judge this month agreed that Google didn't bear responsibility for the cruel comments Grillo suffered, but ruled "people do not forfeit their privacy rights simply by being in a location others can see them." Google was ordered to pay Grillo $2,250 plus interest, and $159 in court costs. (In 2012, a man sued Google over a Street View image that showed him peeing.)

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