In 2009, Montreal resident Maria Pia Grillo looked up her house on Google Street View, and when she found it -- she got an eyeful. There she was on her porch, leaning over, with "part of her breast exposed," according to court papers in the $45,000 suit she brought against Google two years later for "emotional damage" and depression, and for inviting mockery from her bank co-workers after they saw the image, reports GigaOm. Although her face was blurred, she claims she was still identifiable. She also asked to have her license plate and addressed blurred out.
Google agreed to blur out more of the image but rejected Grillo's money claims on the grounds that she was in a public place and that there was no obvious connection between her emotional distress and the Street View image. Although the judge in her case was skeptical that emotional damage was caused by the Google Street View image and questioned why she waited two years to sue, it awarded Pia Grillo $2,250, ruling that Google invaded her privacy. The judge rejected Google's defense, saying that people don't forfeit privacy rights by being in public.
This isn't the first invasion of privacy suit against Google. In June, the Supreme Court rejected Google's bid to dismiss a lawsuit against it which accused Google, via Google Street View, of violating federal wiretap laws by collecting data from unencrypted private Wi-Fi networks, which gave it access to names, passwords, emails and images, according to a Salon report. As a result, Google is open to a class action suit, reports Venture Beat, for its admitted data haul between 2008 and 2010.