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Google's Roving Camera Gets Too Personal and Fined

Updated on October 31, 2014
Google rover
Google rover
The evidence
The evidence

We have all seen them- the Google rovers with the camera perched on top of the roof taking photos for Google maps. They usually just drive by and shoot continuously to map out a route. Sometimes, it can reveal situations or people is various states of disrobed condition even though the faces of these people are blurred out.

This is what happened in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, in 2009. Google was mapping out the street where Maria Grillo lived. On that specific day, Maria was in front of the house when the Google rover car whizzed by. Maria was dressed wearing a sleeveless top that at the wrong moment fell apart enough exposing some of her breast. Not all of it, just some. So what? Cleavage is all over the place daily, OMG. Of course, at the time, she had no clue if Google has captured this snafuish moment or not and it was not until five months later did someone point it out to her.

Maria was simply horrified, so it is claimed, even though Google blurred out the face. Yet, Maria felt people could identify her still maybe through "breast identification" or the blouse or the house. Google had also captured her car's license plate in the driveway.

Maria contacted Google and requested that the image be removed, citing, the exposure endangers her from predators who may like what they see and she feels vulnerable. Google did nothing. Maria also claimed in the lawsuit she was distressed from teasing from coworkers who also had seen her tit, or portion of it. She claimed Google had invaded your privacy. All this legalese was filed in 2011.

Amazingly, the Canadian court seemed to sympathize. Her original damage amount was $15,000. When she felt she might not win, it was reduced to $7000. The final judgement gave her $2000, stating her privacy was invaded and she did suffer from pain and suffering even though she was in public view, that Google did not respect it and disagreed with Google that a blurred out face makes one unrecognizable. One can still tell skin color.

In the meantime, Google has blurred out the whole house at her address when you use the Street View in Google Maps.


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    • lions44 profile image

      CJ Kelly 3 years ago from Auburn, WA

      As much as I love my privacy, I love google maps and earth. It's quite the toolwhen traveling and helps me keep tabs on the old neighborhood as well. I know Germany does not allow Google Maps cameras and frustrates travelers when you're mapping directions over the border. I think they will come around. Interesting hub. Voted up.