Google Threatened With $100 Million Lawsuit Over Hacked Celebrity Pictures

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2014-10-02 Print this article Print
online privacy

Renee Bradshaw, senior solutions marketing manager at NetIQ, told eWEEK that trying to police the Google search capability is about as productive as attempting to police one's own thoughts.

"Like your thoughts, the Google search capability is neither good nor bad; it is a neutral occurrence that can sometimes take you through suspect areas, but ultimately requires freedom to realize its full potential," Bradshaw said. "Forcing Google, or any search engine, to tighten down on what it can and cannot point to only serves to restrict the rights of others who depend on the effectiveness and thoroughness of the search to further their own objectives."

When it comes to the issue of what Google should actually do about the celebrity images that are present on Google sites, including YouTube, there was little argument about what needs to happen.

"In my opinion, they should be removed," Haber said. "The images are sensitive [nude], personal and obtained illegally."

Bradshaw echoed that sentiment, commenting that Google should do the right thing and remove the images from Google-owned sites and take effective measures to have their hosted sites remove them.

"Continuing to display these stolen images is, in my opinion, a mistake Google cannot afford to make," Bradshaw said. "This is because it gives every appearance that Google not only does not care about privacy rights but, furthermore, does not mind profiting off the display of these very private and stolen images."

Gorup agrees that the images should be removed, though he said it's important to also consider the volume of takedown requests for content that Google receives overall.

"Google gets thousands of takedown notices and abusive content alerts a day, especially for applications like YouTube and Blogspot," he said. "Regardless of how large the company is, not everyone at Google works in their content review and legal teams."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.


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