Man sues over embarrassing Google Street View photo

A man is suing Google after a precarious picture of him showed up on the company’s Street View service.

It’s no secret that Street View has led to a rash of, shall we say, peculiar shots. There are entire websites dedicated to oddities and embarrassing things that have been caught by the watchful eye of Google’s WiFi-equipped camera car.

Google now blurs faces of people that happen to be in the line of fire, but for one man in a small village in France, that’s not good enough. The roaming vehicle happened to spin by his house at the very moment he was relieving himself in his garden.

Even though he was blurred, it was right outside his house and the town he lives in is small, so he became “an object of ridicule,” according to his lawyer, Jean-Noel Bouillaud, as quoted by AFP.

Google is able to justify literally driving through entire countries and taking pictures of every passing person because streets are public property where there is no expectation of privacy.

But the man in this case, whose name has not been revealed, said he was in his own privately owned property, with the gate closed. There, he does have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

Google’s lawyer Christophe Bigot spoke with local publication Ouest-France and was translated as saying the man in question “is an awkward customer.”

“It would have been enough to make a claim on the site for a complete blurring of the picture,” Bigot said. He believes the man is just looking for a quick buck.