March 2nd, 2012 08:52 AM
ANGERS—A Frenchman is suing Google for making him the laughing stock of his village after the firm’s Street View service put on the Internet a picture of him urinating in his garden, his lawyer said Thursday.
“He discovered the existence of this photo after noticing that he had become an object of ridicule in his village,” lawyer Jean-Noel Bouillaud told AFP, asking for the name of the village not be published.
The slightly blurred photo, seen by AFP, shows an individual relieving himself in a garden in the village in the west-central Maine-et-Loire department.
“My client lives in a tiny hamlet where everyone recognised him,” said Bouillaud, adding that his client was on his own property and that the gate to his garden was closed at the time the photo was taken.
His client is suing Google in a court in the city of Angers for infringement of his privacy and of his right not to have his photo published without his accord. He also wants the photo to be withdrawn from the site.
Google’s lawyer, Christophe Bigot, said the lawsuit against his company was “implausible”.
Street View allows users to take a ground level panoramic view of some locations on Google Maps, based on still photographs taken by specially equipped vehicles.
France’s data privacy regulator imposed a record fine of 100,000 euros ($142,000) on Google last March for collecting private information while compiling photos for the service.