A Montreal woman has won a small-claims lawsuit against Google for its "flagrant abuse of her right to a private life, the protection of her image and of her dignity" after a Street View car caught a glimpse of her breast.
On a nice spring day five years ago, the woman sat perched on her front step, casually scrolling through her emails on her smartphone.
She didn’t give any thought when a Google Street View car passed by.
But in 2011, she remembered the encounter and went on Google Maps to check out the result of the street-view sweep.
According to court documents, she saw her blurred face — as well as her unblurred home address, licence plate and, to her horror, a partially exposed breast.
The top edge of her tank top shirt had drooped too far, unbeknownst to her.
In 2011, she launched a lawsuit against Google for violating her privacy.
She argued that she was still recognizable to her friends, family and co-workers and that she was subjected to some humiliating exchanges with colleagues.
Despite Google’s argument that they blurred all images relating to the woman and her home and car as soon as she notified them, she won the suit.
In early October, a Quebec small-claims court granted the woman a $2,250 settlement — less than a third of the $7,000 she was asking for — plus interest and $159 in court fees.
In the judgment, the court wrote that blurring someone’s face doesn’t render them instantly unrecognizable.
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