Peeing Frenchman sues Google for making him 'laughing stock'

Mar 01, 2012
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.

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become an object of ridicule in his village," lawyer Jean-Noel Bouillaud told AFP, asking for the name of the village not be published.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 He also wants the photo to be withdrawn from the site.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".

allows users to take a ground level of some locations on , 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 last March for collecting private information while compiling photos for the service.

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User comments : 29

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Squirrel
5 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
He should sue his solicitor for not warning about the Streisand effect.
https://en.wikipe...d_effect

Not hard to find on Google news:
http://www.tdg.ch...19958610
Deathclock
3.7 / 5 (6) Mar 01, 2012
Hi Frenchy, do you know what the word "public" means?

People are such idiots. Piss outside and someone might see you, hard to believe he didn't recognize and accept that risk when he chose to pull his pants down outdoors...

The only places where you have any legal expectation of privacy is your own home and public bathrooms/changing rooms.
Pyle
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
In the guy's defense, the cameras are on poles on the tops of cars. I judge them at least 8 feet high. He could have been behind a six foot high fence relieving himself when he was caught marinating the produce.

...

I am suddenly very reluctant to try my coworkers home grown vegetables.
TopherTO
5 / 5 (2) Mar 01, 2012
Pure laziness, dude couldn't walk into his house like every other civilized person would do?

Honestly, public shaming is okay in this case. Welcome to the 21st century and the luxury of flush INDOOR toilets.
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (1) Mar 01, 2012
First off, not his garden. That is a driveway. Secondly, I second the Streisand effect here. I wouldn't know he was peeing if the news headline didn't tell me. Looks like he was admiring his collection of junk cars when the google car came by and he turned his head to look.

But maybe the blurring isn't present in the real street view image. He better hope it is though, because if not, the unblurred image will be making its rounds through pinboards pretty damn quick.

I should counter sue him for causing me to pity his stupidity.
fmfbrestel
not rated yet Mar 01, 2012
French are such crybabies about google. Google is also getting sued by french tourist map companies. Supposedly Google was behaving anti-competitively when it published its streetview maps for free.

Au-Pu
1 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2012
I believe that Google, like all aspects of the internet are invasive and always have been.
It is only now that the idiots are starting to wake up to the fact that they have all been massively conned.
It is all their own fault because they are lazy and want everything instantly. That makes them vulnerable to the tools of modern internet technology. They embrace the technology without considering how else it might be used. When the owners of the technology decide to use it for their own benefit the users suddenly cry foul.
I think it serves them right for being such brain dead impulsive idiots.
because as soon as the next new thing is released those self same idiots will all race out to be the first with the latest.
They cannot help themselves, therefore they do not deserve any sympathy, nor should they be entitled to any compensation.
The internet and most if not all of its services are the realisation of Big Brother from George Orwell's book 1984.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2012
I believe that ... all aspects of the internet are invasive and always have been.


It's not an invasion of privacy when you have no reasonable expectation of privacy.

It is only now that the idiots are starting to wake up to the fact that they have all been massively conned.


Conned? How are you being conned? The internet provides us with completely unprecedented levels of entertainment, news, information, and educational opportunities for free or extremely cheap, in exchange for seeing some ads... if you don't like it don't use it.

It is all their own fault because they are lazy and want everything instantly.


So you equate efficiency with laziness? Good luck in any business ventures...

When the owners of the technology decide to use it for their own benefit the users suddenly cry foul.


It's always been for their benefit, nothing is a charity, the owners of websites get paid whether you pay them directly or not.
Deathclock
3 / 5 (4) Mar 02, 2012
They cannot help themselves, therefore they do not deserve any sympathy, nor should they be entitled to any compensation.


What are you talking about? What great "wrong" has been committed here that people need to be more cautious about? Cameras have existed and have been used in public places for hundreds of years... and people's eyes have existed for hundreds of thousands... I don't pee outside if I don't want eyes or cameras seeing me, it's common fucking sense.

The internet and most if not all of its services are the realisation of Big Brother from George Orwell's book 1984.


Get yourself checked for lunacy, is my advice to you. Outdoors has NEVER been private. When you are outdoors you are in public and should expect to be witnessed UNLESS you are on your own property and you have taken sufficient measures to block line of sight from others not on your property, but even in that case any observation of you is YOUR fault, not anyone else's outside of your property.
33Nick
1 / 5 (1) Mar 02, 2012
It might come as a shock but different cultures live differently than we do. People peeing in the relative privacy of their private property garden is not uncommon. This is yet another gray area where privacy was invaded. My garden is part of my private property last time I check on the county register. Only communist countries don't see like that :) This is a non-issue. Google should just remove it and not let it become a big deal.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2012
It might come as a shock but different cultures live differently than we do. People peeing in the relative privacy of their private property garden is not uncommon.


It's not a "garden"... people in the UK call their yard their "garden"... he was in plain view of the road, anyone could have been walking by and saw him, what is the difference?

This is yet another gray area where privacy was invaded. My garden is part of my private property last time I check on the county register. Only communist countries don't see like that :)


No, you're an idiot. The google car was not on his property, it was on a public street. ANYONE walking or driving by could have seen him, because he made no effort to obscure himself from the view of other people on public property. Assume it was an ordinary person who HAPPENED to see him, should he be able to sue that person because they HAPPENED to glance in his direction from a public space?
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2012
You have a reasonable expectation to privacy in your own home but if you stand up to the front window and press your junk against the glass then you forfeit that right to privacy. Likewise if you walk outside into your front yard and, in full view of the PUBLIC road, expose yourself you also forfeit that right to privacy. You have to take responsibility for your own privacy, other people cannot help what they happen to see if they happen to look in your direction from a public space.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Mar 02, 2012
Ya.. But what about toilet cams?
fmfbrestel
5 / 5 (2) Mar 02, 2012
The internet and most if not all of its services are the realisation of Big Brother from George Orwell's book 1984.


I don't want to alarm you Au-Pu, but um... you were using the internet to post that warning. Also, the account you set up to post that message told me that you are Ted Middleton, 75 years old, and live in Stdney (Sydney?), Australia.

Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2012
The internet and most if not all of its services are the realisation of Big Brother from George Orwell's book 1984.


I don't want to alarm you Au-Pu, but um... you were using the internet to post that warning. Also, the account you set up to post that message told me that you are Ted Middleton, 75 years old, and live in Stdney (Sydney?), Australia.



Fantastic
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 02, 2012
I mean, consider the irony... the guy warning others about privacy issues is the only person on this website (probably) that put his name and address in his profile!
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Mar 03, 2012
Google collects a tremendous amount of information about everyone and everything through satellites, street view, and the internet via your browser's various functions and applications.

In most cases, they probably have as good or better intelligence capabilities than world governments. It's actually shocking what they are capable of.

Check Google Earth and you can see what I mean. The satellites can see everything, just like a government spy satellite, except its published publicly without blurring.

You can see cars and trucks parked at residences and at work places.

In some cases, the information you can get from Google Earth is of tactical and strategic significance regarding potential targets for military or terrorist activities.

Once they have insect scale nano-drones powered by solar and piezoelectric effects, they'll be able to spy on EVERYONE in real time, and there won't be much you can do about it, other than run some sort of EM pulse and a broad spectrum radio jammer.
Lurker2358
1 / 5 (2) Mar 03, 2012
Go on Google Earth right now and pick a city.

Set your elevation height to about 500ft, and you can look AROUND the buildings from every angle at every elevation and see them as you would see them if you were in an low flying aircraft looking at them.

If you use street view, you can even get right down to the surface and see everything from ground level.

It's a perfect scouting tool for terrorist attacks or rogue gunmen, because they don't even need to case the area or anything. Everything is right there to be seen.
Vendicar_Decarian
5 / 5 (1) Mar 03, 2012
Is this Frenchman's last name Clouseau?

http://www.holyta...-public/
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 04, 2012
Lurker, what is your point? Google Earth has been around for a long time, and before that it was owned by keyhole... I've been using it for a decade, it's nothing new and it is not even close to military level intelligence.

It is completely benign, you cannot get any more information from than you can from driving down the street.
RazorsEdge
1 / 5 (1) Mar 04, 2012
It's surprising that physorg hasn't yet blamed global warming for privacy invasion.
antialias_physorg
3 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2012
I have nothing but respect for Google, but their street-view project is completely bonkers.

Hi Frenchy, do you know what the word "public" means?

He was in his garden/driveway - which is not a public space. Ordinary people may not go and take pictures from outside through your window or your property without your consent (and various owners of historic buildings have successfully sued against makers of postcards from taking pictures of their buildings). That is invasion of privacy. Why Google may do this is beyond me.

People may not even record stuff oustide their homes (e.g. I may not put up a camera to see who is at my appartment door, because that would also let me monitor who is going up and down the stairwell to other people's appartments). Again: If find it hard to believe why Google is alowed to do this.
Deathclock
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2012
He was in his garden/driveway - which is not a public space.


You're right, it's not, but his driveway is in full view of public space, and anyone driving or walking by could have seen him urinating. Would you hold those people accountable for happening to glance in his direction from a public street, should he be able to sue them for seeing him?

various owners of historic buildings have successfully sued against makers of postcards from taking pictures of their buildings


This is ridiculous. In some places a tall historic building may be visible in an image taken from anywhere in a 10 mile radius... this "law" (if it is) could prevent people from taking a picture almost anywhere in a city... so stupid if true.

You should have no expectation of privacy unless you are on your own property and you have taken measures to block line of sight from adjacent public spaces. People in a public park or road can't help what they see if they happen to glance in your direction.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
and anyone driving or walking by could have seen him urinating.

People in a public park or road can't help what they see if they happen to glance in your direction.

Seeing and taking a photograph and posting it online are different things. One is legal the other is not. (e.g. I may look through the spyhole on my door - but I may not point a camera through it to record whatever goes on outside.)

this "law" (if it is) could prevent people from taking a picture almost anywhere in a city... so stupid if true.

It was enacted when the building in question is the central motif and the picture is used to make a profit. This does not apply to photographs of cityscapes or tourist photos.
Similarly it is forbidden to tape a concert (or make a re-recording of a bought music CD) and sell it. Same thing, really.

Kinedryl
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2012
ANYONE walking or driving by could have seen him, because he made no effort to obscure himself from the view of other people on public property

You still shouldn't make pictures of people at public areas without their permission. Being more specific, the law in our country says something like this: "The pictures and records involving the physical persons or their behaviour of PERSONAL nature may be acquired or used only with permission given."

So, If I would take a picture of peeing you at public place, I could be accused from interfering of your private freedom.
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2012
ANYONE walking or driving by could have seen him, because he made no effort to obscure himself from the view of other people on public property

You still shouldn't make pictures of people at public areas without their permission. Being more specific, the law in our country says something like this: "The pictures and records involving the physical persons or their behaviour of PERSONAL nature may be acquired or used only with permission given."

So, If I would take a picture of peeing you at public place, I could be accused from interfering of your private freedom.


If that's the law (I'm not saying it's not, I'm saying I'm too lazy to look it up) it's stupid. I'm pretty sure urinating in public is also illegal, as is exposing yourself in public... I could claim I took the photo to document illegal activity to be included in a police report that I was going to file...
Deathclock
1 / 5 (1) Mar 05, 2012
Also, I'm pretty sure you cannot walk around nude in your front yard that is visible from the street, you would be arrested for indecent exposure, even if on your own property and especially in a neighborhood with tightly spaced houses and small front yards or if there is a park across the street or something... you can't get away with anything just because you're on your property.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
you can't get away with anything just because you're on your property.

No doubt. But you can't get away with everything TO someone on private property while you're standing on public property, either.

There are different interests involved, and I think Google overstepped those bounds when they launched street-view.

Kinedryl
not rated yet Mar 05, 2012
I'm pretty sure urinating in public is also illegal, as is exposing yourself in public
In my country the peeing outside of public parks and streets is essentially free of charge, until you don't expose yourself (which is essentially possible only for men). In some islamic countries like the Malaysia even the unexposed peeing is explicitly prohibited, at the case of peeing in Mecca direction even inside of private buildings - so you should always judge your wet intentions with caution.

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