Google is going to have to pay a Montreal woman a couple thousand dollars because Street View happened to capture her cleavage.
A Canadian judge has ruled that Google owes Maria Pia Grillo $2,250 in damages (plus $159 in court fees) for causing her "shock and embarrassment".
As the story goes, Grillo was beside herself when she looked up her house on Google Street View in 2009 – only to find herself (and her cleavage) sitting on her front step. Though her face was blurred (as Google routinely does when people wind up in their Street View shots), Grillo claimed that her address and license plate number were visible, plus the contextual visual information (her house) made her clearly identifiable.
— Toronto Sun (@TheTorontoSun) October 29, 2014
Grillo actually demanded $45,000 for "emotional damage", according to GigaOm – but the judge was having none of that.
Google's defense was that Grillo was in a public place. The judged rejected this argument, stating that people still have a right to privacy even when people can see them. T
Then there's this interesting little tidbit, via GigaOm:
Privacy buffs may also be interested to note that the court drew a contrast between the law in the United States, and its emphasis on free expression, versus what prevails in Canada and Quebec. The judge also elected to adopt a “European approach” to deciding what should count as “personal information.”
It'll be interesting to see if this decision has Canadians flocking to fetch lawyers, claiming that Google embarrassed them with their traveling cameras. Google Street View has been the target of big legal action – from entire countries – but this is the first one I remember involving personal embarrassment.
Although, Google is known to catch people in some rather compromising positions.