In March 2009, Maria Pia Grillo of Montreal was sitting on her front steps, minding her own business, when a Google Street View car drove by, cameras recording everything. Unfortunately for Ms. Grill, she was wearing a rather revealing top that showed her cleavage. Today, a Canadian court has ruled that Google needs to compensate Ms. Grillo for the damage she says she suffered.
The picture is blurry, and you wouldn’t see it unless you were specifically looking for it, but Ms. Grillo took exception to it nonetheless. She originally asked Google, politely, to remove the image, but got no response. In 2011, she sued Google in small claims court.
According to USA Today, a Montreal judge agreed with Ms. Grillo’s claim that Google Street View’s cameras had damaged her reputation. She said that the Google Street View image of her cleavage also showed her license plate, and that she suffered mockery (including having to quit her job from the bullying) and predators showing up at her door.
The Guardian reports that Ms. Grillo had originally sued for $45,000 (Canadian).
“This puts me, my house, my vehicle and my family members that I live with at the mercy of potential predators. I feel very vulnerable knowing that the information is available to anyone with internet access. The damage has been done.”
However, the judge in the case rejected Ms. Grillo’s claim of $45,000 worth of damages, arguing that Google couldn’t be held responsible for the actions of others, even if they were due to Google’s fault. However, he still held Google liable for her suffering.
“In addition to malicious comments and humiliation she suffered at work, the plaintiff, in particular, has experienced a significant loss of personal modesty and dignity, two values that she held and are eminently respectable.”
The judge also made a somewhat-telling statement about privacy rights, at least as they apply to Canadian law.
“People do not forfeit their privacy rights simply by being in a location others can see them.”
He ordered Google to pay her $2,250, plus interest, and $159 in court costs.
This is not the first time Google has been held liable for images captured by their Street View cameras. In 2012, according to this Inquisitr report, a man sued Google for a Street View image that captured him urinating.
Do you think Google should be liable for this Street View image of a woman’s cleavage? Let us know what you think in the Comments below.
[Image courtesy of: Gizmodo]