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Woman Sues Google Over Street View Shots of Her Underwear

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the airing-your-clean-laundry dept.

Google 417

Kittenman writes "The Telegraph (and several US locals) are covering a story about a Japanese woman who had her underwear on the line while the Google car went past. She is now suing Google: 'I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I might be the target of a sex crime,' the woman told a district court. 'It caused me to lose my job and I had to change my residence.'"

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Common sense says... (4, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629744)

... don't leave them in public view to begin with?

Re:Common sense says... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630104)

Common sense says there's no need for a company to go around the world ignoring local rules, laws or even society conventions, taking pictures to put online, with the pure motive of selling more adverts.

Re:Common sense says... (4, Insightful)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630264)

Common sense says taking a picture from a publically accessable location is fair game. After that the rest of your argument falls apart.

Re:Common sense says... (4, Informative)

jcoy42 (412359) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630556)

Not always; consider the red light district in Amsterdam. Photographs are strictly prohibited and you'd find yourself in a good deal of trouble.

Re:Common sense says... (3, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630594)

we'll talk again next time you get playful with your significant other in a secluded, but public, spot. or in your living room without the drapes drawn.

Re:Common sense says... (1)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630450)

you mean like newspapers who add pictures of whatever they report on to their articles? (their revenue is also advert driven, the pictures are in the same realm as google streetview)
i agree with grandparent, it's just an issue because it's new and unfamiliar...

Re:Common sense says... (4, Informative)

MadAhab (40080) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630282)

Common sense is different in different cultures.

In some places, common sense says you don't eat corn - it's for the animals stupid! How dare you serve it to me.

In Japan, where streets are small and houses close, people are very used to not looking and not seeing things plainly visible from the street. It would be really rude to stare, and it isn't done.

So yes, she does have a reasonable expectation of a kind of privacy that is expected in Japan, and which was violated by Google.

Re:Common sense says... (3, Interesting)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630354)

In Japan, where streets are small and houses close, people are very used to not looking and not seeing things plainly visible from the street. It would be really rude to stare, and it isn't done.

If the fact that it’s airing up there visible for the world to see doesn’t mean that anybody should be staring at it, neither does the fact that it’s visible on Google Street View.

Re:Common sense says... (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630564)

Even if we accept that point of view (and I'm really not sure that I agree), the next step is to examine the reasoning she gave to the court: "I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I might be the target of a sex crime". That makes no fucking sense. None whatsoever. She thinks that if someone sees a picture of bra on a washing line (which they could've seen while walking down the street), they're going to find and assault her?

The only way that it makes any sense is in the context (as given by the article) of her mental illness: "The suit claims her existing obsessive-compulsive disorder was worsened by the anxiety brought on by the photo, as she feared that everything she was doing throughout the day was being secretly recorded.". Taking that into account, I do sympathise with her problems, but Google can't reasonably be held responsible for them.

Re:Common sense says... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630614)

If it's rude to stare, then it should be equally rude to stare at a picture of them... Case dismissed.

Suggestion (0, Redundant)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629746)

Maybe stop hanging your underwear in full public view?

Re:Suggestion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630294)

This post was made at the same time as the first post, but it gets modded redundant. I hate the redundant mod.

Re:Suggestion (1)

suso (153703) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630398)

True, but it looks like in Japan they have targeted specific areas of interest with Street View. For instance, off the path of the normal street view area, there area single pictures of things like shrines, etc. I don't see one in Fukuoka (what a great name for this story), so perhaps they removed it. If they directly took a single shot of her underwear and that was the only picture in that area, I'd say that crosses the line into public humiliation.

Women of /., please comment (0)

kheldan (1460303) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629758)

If this was you, would you have reacted this way? Or do you think this woman is just looking for attention and/or a payday? Does the dominant paradigm of her ethnicity have anything to do with this?

Also, first post! :-)

Re:Women of /., please comment (1)

oedneil (871555) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629826)

What women of /.? You must be new here. Also,

Re:Women of /., please comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34629942)

Also,

Haha, you failed in posting that he failed his first post. You should have just

Re:Women of /., please comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630224)

Candleja

Re:Women of /., please comment (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630074)

RTFA. The problem had little to do with her being a woman and a lot to do with her "existing obsessive compulsive disorder".

Re:Women of /., please comment (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630436)

Yes.

If you think normal women are nuts, wait till you get suckered into a relationship with someone with OCD.

I was a retard and lost 8 years of my life to one.

Re:Women of /., please comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630080)

There are no women on slashdot. Idiot.

Re:Women of /., please comment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630430)

*crickets chirping*

Re:Women of /., please comment (2)

bwcbwc (601780) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630536)

Actually, it would have to be Japanese women. And for the record, I'm neither. But I do know that Japan has a tradition of "if it's behind the property gate, it's invisible, even if it's visible", simply as a matter of being able to live together in close quarters. So a polite Japanese neighbor would ignore the laundry on the line and not take snaps of it.

But I still get the feeling that some Japanese are just as litigious as the worst in the US.

Expectation of Privacy (3, Insightful)

Nailer235 (1822054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629762)

It seems hard to imagine that the woman expected her delicates to stay completely private when she hung them up for the entire world to see.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (5, Interesting)

Rary (566291) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629928)

It seems hard to imagine that the woman expected her delicates to stay completely private when she hung them up for the entire world to see.

This is the part that really stands out. What makes you think she hung them up "for the entire world to see"? I mean, what we have today is kind of a whole new level in the public vs. private continuum. There's "private". Then there's "public". But then there's "on the Internet", which is a whole different ball of wax.

There is a shift that needs to happen in how we view things. Obviously, the moment you step out of a private residence, you can no longer expect privacy. But perhaps there is a reasonable expectation of something that falls somewhere between "private" and "on the Internet".

Re:Expectation of Privacy (3, Insightful)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630026)

How would that even work? No. I think trying to somehow distinguish between regular public and internet public is kind of dumb. Here's a good rule of thumb. Live your public life as though everything you do will end up on the internet.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (4, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630068)

There's "private". Then there's "public". But then there's "on the Internet", which is a whole different ball of wax.

No, it isn't. "On the Internet" is where you should assume everything "public" will end up. Or put another way, you should always assune the whole world is watching anything you do in public. This was a good idea before the Internet, and it's a better idea now.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (3, Insightful)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630094)

There's "private". Then there's "public". But then there's "on the Internet", which is a whole different ball of wax.

Not for long. Get used to it... I don’t see the trend changing.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630098)

Well it's on 2 parts here, google street view IMO isn't that much more high risk then your front lawn. I mean sure you are no more then 1 person in a few billion that someone might be driving down at any given time, so it's unlikely that your boss or someone would see it. But who randomly checks people's front yards on google streets for the heck of it either, and then a big question I have She lost her job? Where the heck can you work that you would get fired if your boss discovered that you had granny panties, hanging on a zipline, in your own home? My theory is she lost her job because she started raving like a lunatic about it, pointed it out to everyone and freaked out loud enough that she was fired for being a disturbance to the workplace.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630122)

There's "private". Then there's "public". But then there's "on the Internet", which is a whole different ball of wax.

Not really. If something is in public view, it could simply be photographed and published anywhere - without permission. That's the nature of "in public view". There's nothing inherently different about it being "on the internet" in these cases.

The lesson is, to co-opt a phrase, that people shouldn't air their clean laundry in public. :-)

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630206)

If she hangs her washing outside, people will see it. The people who live near her have probably seen her laundry already, and nobody is going to go out of their way to visit her just because they saw some underwear on a washing line. It isn't even sexy underwear. Why should a rapist choose her over any of the other millions of women in Japan? It makes no sense.

It makes me think she must be mentally ill, though it could just be a cultural thing. If she's been a victim of sex crimes in the past, however, her fear is understandable.

I'm interested now, I'm actually going to RTFA. Though I expect it to be a facepalm moment.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630296)

It makes me think she must be mentally ill

Did the fact that she's obsessive/compulsive tip you off?

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630356)

Ah, TFA confirms she is mentally ill:

The suit claims her existing obsessive-compulsive disorder was worsened by the anxiety brought on by the photo, as she feared that everything she was doing throughout the day was being secretly recorded.

It's a real shame as OCD can be crippling, but I don't think she has any actual grounds to sue Google here.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (2)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630212)

There's "private". Then there's "public". But then there's "on the Internet", which is a whole different ball of wax.

No. No it is not. This is the kind of thinking that our lawmakers are using "it is different if it involves a computer!" They are wrong, and so are you.

Private is private, and public is public.

That is not to say that there are not cultural differences... in small densely populated regions (like Japan) people have learned to ignore many "private" things that are going on right in front of them, because there is not enough space for it to be done in true privacy. But that is a cultural issue, and not a legal one.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630290)

Indeed, there is a bit of a cultural difference here. First off having a dryer for your laundry is actually pretty rare so most people just put it outside to dry on a balcony or patio. Thus, seeing laundry out drying is actually part of the background and something that people ignore as it is considered "personal" (i.e. in public, but of a private nature) so I could see how someone could get embarrassed over having it on the internet.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630312)

No. No it is not. This is the kind of thinking that our lawmakers are using "it is different if it involves a computer!" They are wrong, and so are you.

I think we need a patent on that.

Public areas...on the internet!!

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

Sancho (17056) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630574)

Lots of things are effectively self-governing until technology comes along which removes burdens to doing those things. Take police tailing people--affixing a GPS or using traffic cameras to follow the person means that tailing someone is almost free. Different courts have disagreed on whether GPS-tailing is a rights violation (if they don't break into your car to do it.) Before these technologies, there wasn't much question about the legality of police tracking your movements. Now that it's trivial to do, we (as a society) are slowly reexamining the issue.

Another issue is child porn. Now that many, many teens have access to a camera (their phone) and a distribution mechanism (MMS, the Internet), we're seeing people charged with creation and possession of child porn where they wouldn't have had the ability before. Teens sending pictures of themselves to their significant others probably shouldn't be criminal--yet lives have been ruined due to the government failing to adapt.

Scale and ability have a lot to do with how and why laws are written. I think that the government is close to asking the right question -- instead of thinking of things as being different when they're on the Internet, they should be asking if things should be different now that technology makes it so easy.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630592)

"Private is private, and public is public."

Not true. Privacy is about circles of trust and access. It's not boolean. That's why it's complex.

I have privacy with my wife. privacy with my lawyer, privacy with my doctor. Each one is a different circle and different levels by their nature.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630372)

Talk with any celebrity of the past 40 years about paparazzi and privacy. If you ever wished you were as famous as David Beckham, thanks to Google street cam, you just might be.

Re:Expectation of Privacy (1)

serutan (259622) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630612)

There are already varying degrees of "public," for example a kid's artwork hanging on the wall in the school hallway is only semi-public, because access to the school is semi-controlled. But if something can be seen from the sidewalk, literally anyone in the entire world could walk by at any time and look at it, same as if it's on the Internet. I don't think your distinction between "public" and "on the Internet" makes sense.

Streisand Effect (5, Funny)

dragonhunter21 (1815102) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629776)

Congragulations, miss. The entire readership of /. will now see your underwear.

Well done.

So? (5, Funny)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629780)

She wasn't wearing them at the time, so who cares?

Re:So? (1)

Stele (9443) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629860)

I can't stand the "this" meme but if ever there was a time to use it, I think "this" is it.

Re:So? (5, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630020)

It was never really meant as a meme but rather a quick way to convey your concurrence to a statement.

Like the whole
tl;dr = Too Long Didn't Read
IANAL = I am not a Lawyer
LoL = Laugh out Loud

This = Indubitably my good sir! Your clever insight and concise conveyance of the subject matter at hand was quite enjoyable and I agree with your statement in every facet that one might be agreeable.

Re:So? (1)

LMacG (118321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630084)

+1

(and unfortunately required additional text to get around the lameness filter)

Re:So? (3, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630316)

If you have to add a bunch of text to get around the lameness filter, maybe you should reconsider posting your lame post.

Re:So? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630298)

I need more coffee. I'm still trying to figure out what "this" is...

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630304)

Agreed.

Re:So? (1)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630370)

It was never really meant as a meme but rather a quick way to convey your concurrence to a statement.

Gotta be honest here: "It's an AOL-style 'me too!' for a new generation" doesn't quite endear me to it at all.

Re:So? (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630412)

This.

Is.

Funny.

Re:So? (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630114)

It isn't a meme, its just used incorrectly 95% of the time. When post A asks a question, expecting actual answers in the responses, and post B replies to post A with an actual answer, then it makes sense for post C to reply to post B with "this". I have no problem with it when it is used correctly, it just bothers me that people don't understand that it does actually make sense in a certain situation, and makes no sense in others.

Re:So? (1)

need4mospd (1146215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630374)

This.

Re:So? (1)

rs79 (71822) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629874)

Yeah. If that half dead hooker in Spain passed out on the sidewalk doesn't care, why should she?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630196)

She wasn't wearing them at the time, so who cares?

I don't know about you, but I tend to get excited when a woman isn't wearing her underwear.

Re:So? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630226)

She wasn't wearing them at the time, so who cares?

I dunno, I think ladies underwear are much more appealing lying on the floor than they are being worn by the lady but that's just my humble opinion ;)

Re:So? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630284)

True, but this happened in Japan ...

Simple Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34629790)

I was worried about this as well, so I stopped wearing underwear. Problem solved. You're welcome

Then don't hang your underwear outside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34629794)

for all the world to see. Would she not be afraid of a random passerby seeing her underwear and becoming violently sexually aroused? I mean, the guy (or girl, to be fair) is already in physical proximity, unlike the millions of imaginary horny dudes looking at it over the internet (and seriously, they have better content to watch).

Re:Then don't hang your underwear outside (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630508)

in Bukano Faso, hanging your underwear outdoors is a sign for a loose woman looking for rough sex on the side. Husbands get very very angry to come home and catch their woman's panties on the burajinga bush.

Ugh, this again? (2, Informative)

TheCRAIGGERS (909877) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629810)

I understand not wanting pictures of your underwear online, but she didn't seem to have a problem hanging it in her front yard.

In my eyes, any legitimacy she had was lost when she sued first instead of just asking to have it blurred or removed.

Re:Ugh, this again? (5, Informative)

darkstar949 (697933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630194)

Might not have been the front yard. In Japan it's actually unusually to have a dryer so people will dry their clothing outside on a patio or balcony.

Re:Ugh, this again? (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630360)

A patio or balcony still within view of the street. The underlying point is the Google Maps van didn't have to hop a fence and avoid Chopper to get pics of her underthings.

Come on Slashdot... (0)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629818)

Come on Slashdot...

Stop feeding the crazies. I hope Google counter-sues her frivolous ass into the poorhouse.

Mental Illness (4, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629820)

'I was overwhelmed with anxiety that I might be the target of a sex crime,' the woman told a district court. 'It caused me to lose my job and I had to change my residence.'

Even ignoring the fact that the woman's underwear was apparently visible from the street in the first place and it never bothered her. This reeks of unhealthy paranoia to me, is Google really responsible for one woman's mental issues? Granted, this thinking is exactly what the modern media creates, the idea that the world is filled with kidnappers, rapists, and violence. It's ironic that there are fewer murders than ever in US history, the kidnapping rate is lower than it was in 1940, and the overall violent crime rate sets new record lows every year (maybe not since the recession, but I haven't heard).

Re:Mental Illness (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629940)

The suit claims her existing obsessive-compulsive disorder was worsened by the anxiety brought on by the photo, as she feared that everything she was doing throughout the day was being secretly recorded.

This.

Re:Mental Illness (1)

Garble Snarky (715674) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630140)

Re:Mental Illness (1)

Saishuuheiki (1657565) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629950)

It strikes me as odd that a woman afraid if being the target of a sex crime would hang her underwear outside in the first place. It seems like her own action is the root cause rather than Google.

Plus, I can't imagine someone stalking the house of someone who they've never seen because underwear was hung outside. Now if the image had her with her underwear, it could be more serious (Unless she's hideous)

Re:Mental Illness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630002)

This is about Japan, dumbass. Yes there *is* a world outside the US.

Re:Mental Illness (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630222)

Even ignoring the fact that the woman's underwear was apparently visible from the street in the first place ....

That's not necessarily true. The cameras on a Google van are much higher than the average person. What is visible from the cam truck is much more than what is visible from standing in the street or on the sidewalk.

Other commenters are wrong (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34629840)

I know many people are saying that she should not have left them out to dry in public view. She made her mistake long before that.

She is in Japan. She shouldn't have washed them in the first place; instead she could have sold them for a nice profit.

I don't get it (1)

Jimpqfly (790794) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629896)

It's still better to HAVE underwear that to have NO underwear ... So why would she be was "overwhelmed with anxiety" ??? This is just about money ...

"Target of a sex crime", seriously? (3, Interesting)

DontLickJesus (1141027) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629918)

I'm not aware of the laws outside the US, but that line is loaded. In the US, sexual harassment is the only crime that is judged by, not on the intention of the accused, but the perception of the accuser. There is the allowance for a measure of common sense when asking "would a reasonable, normal person be offended in this way" which is introduced, but no company is going through a sex crimes trial before settling. It just isn't happening. Can someone comment as to these laws in Japan?

Funny (0)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629952)

You remember how Google was fined for $1 recently on a similar privacy violation case regarding Street View? I'm no lawyer, but if I understand the American legal system right, that was precedent, and now further Street View privacy cases will have similarly "high" rewards for the people initiating them.

Re:Funny (1)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630000)

Not really. Rulings don't become precedent in the US till the appellate level. District court rulings don't bind anyone except the parties involved.

This case was filed in Tokyo. US laws have very little precedent power in Japan.

Re:Funny (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630390)

If memory serves, the Google van had to traverse a private road to get those shots, making it obvious they strayed off public roads, so there's more to the $1 case than "simply spilling hot coffee in your lap."

There is a difference between a yard and the web (1)

fortfive (1582005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34629982)

I don't understand why people are so unsympathetic here. Granted, she is probably being overly sensitive, and yes, she did put her undies on public display. But there is a difference between the attention of your neighbors, with whom you have some kind of dynamic relationship, and the whole rest of the world, over whom you have no influence, social or direct.

I think we have start becoming sensitive to the impact of world-wide public display, just as we rightfully expect governments and private enterprises to become more sensitive to our data.

Re:There is a difference between a yard and the we (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630272)

Your yard is only noticed by passing cars going by the area or people driving by. A specific yard is only seen on google street view by someone who is planning a route to drive through the area. specifically looking for a house near or around that area. Your privacy on google street is about equal to your privacy in the real world. There is probably pretty equal number of people looking at that specific yard in google street view, as there are driving past it, actually possibly more, because if someone is planning a route or something, they would only have motivation to go into street view near where they are planning on leaving their car and not on most random streets. We have privacy in more or less publicly viewable places, due only to having very large masses of data that we are lost in the noise. With the exception of to tracking and advertising bots designed to sift through that noise we have the same privacy on the internet.

Re:There is a difference between a yard and the we (2)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630432)

Hypothetical situation: Amateur photographer sees her underthings on the line, sees the framing, thinks it makes a good shot. Posts it online, wins some flickr award, gets lots of attention (remember, hypothetical!). The rest plays out as normal.

Does she deserve more, less or the same amount of sympathy?

More like overwhelmed with anxiety (4, Insightful)

BeanThere (28381) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630038)

... that she might miss out on a chance to sue a big company for a whole lot of money she doesn't deserve, by feigning distress. I'm sure nobody involved thinks it's anything other than BS, but they're probably hoping Google will settle.

Re:More like overwhelmed with anxiety (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630532)

I have little doubt that she had the anxiety, loss of job, and other problems - and that the photos were some kind of factor in her problems... but that doesn't mean that Google was in the wrong by posting them, just that she was a hollow eggshell waiting to be crushed.

she was asking for it (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630046)

Flapping her underwear around like a flag in public, tramp.
Apparently she's all right with all the local boys eyeballing her dainties.
But draws the line at some gaijin interweb pervert getting cheap thrills at her expense.

Hey, this is Japan , we're talking about. Fukuoka, even.

How about instead of Suing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630048)

Maybe she should have clicked that link to notify google about something on the image needs to be edited out or removed?

Maybe she should have called google or sent them an email/letter/RFC2549 to say "HEY! This is displaying my underwear, I fear some perv might think I am a woman living alone and come do something horrible to me!"

I'm sure the people at Google would be sensitive enough to nix the picture or edit out the washing from the picture to her satisfaction.

But no, suing is going to make it better?

If the Google car could see her underwear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630054)

then couldn't everyone else who drove by her residence? If she is not worried about the public seeing her underwear then why is she worried about the public seeing her underwear?

Why is this in Idle? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630058)

Shouldn't it be in "your rights on line"?

Re:Why is this in Idle? (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630146)

And ... damn, I’ve already posted in this discussion.

Where's the actual photo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630086)

The photo in tfa is way too well composed to be "real" and is obviously just a stock photo. Where's the actual photo that was the source of the complaint? Maybe there's some specific article of clothing in it that explains why the woman is so upset?

Re:Where's the actual photo? (1)

clone52431 (1805862) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630228)

Good catch. Slashdot should have posted the photo along with its credit [ompldr.org] . Shame on you, Slashdot.

Job loss... (1)

binaryseraph (955557) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630088)

My god! That woman owns underwear..... Fire her, Smithers.

...really? Job loss?

Special Problems With This in Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630132)

Japan has a problem with womens' underwear thefts. Don't hang it outside there.

I don't think washed underware is at risk... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630254)

Thieves prefer them... scented.

Even I know.. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630164)

that is what the bathroom shower curtain rod is used for.

wtf? (1)

countzerobah (1963018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630190)

That is MY underware!

Ha! (3, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630230)

That'll teach her to air her dirty laundry in public!

(N.B. This joke would actually be funny if the laundry actually was dirty)

600000 Japanese yen = 7174.4400 US dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630322)

So she's suing Google for a little over $7000... is that a lot in Japan? My instincts say no.

Idle? (0)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630380)

Why is this filed under "idle"? This is important shit.

Anyone got the woman's pics?

Time to play Devil's Advocate (4, Insightful)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630490)

So far, everyone seems to be concluding that this woman is some sort of nut and/or lawsuit-happy money-grabber. Honestly, I agree with that given the evidence shown so far, but everyone deserves some level of defense.

This woman is making at least one claim that can be tested - that she lost her job due to this. It would be rather simple to find out if this was the case - ask her ex-boss if he fired her over them, find out if she was shunned by coworkers over the images, etc. Most cases of people suing over trivialities involve less testable claims. As such, either she's not good at trolling the legal system, or she's got more of a case than we've assumed. After all, Japan is a much different culture than America or Europe - something like this could actually be a big deal over there. I honestly don't know. So, I'm going to wait for more info before making any sort of final judgement.

Um... (1)

gravis777 (123605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630494)

'It caused me to lose my job and I had to change my residence.' "

Because you know the details on Google Street View are just SO good that we could even tell you had underwear on the line. Shoot, TFA says that she lived in an apartment building. I mean, was there a pixilated blur in the background or something? And if she REALLY had a problem with this, all she had to do was file a complaint with Google. TFA actually says that Google had already replaced the image by the time she filed the lawsuit.

It's legal! Public display on private property. (1)

angiasaa (758006) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630498)

Regardless of what so many seem to believe, I think it's a ridiculous lawsuit. If she wanted no one to see them, she should have hung her underclothes somewhere where no one would see them whilst not intruding upon her property.

It's not like the google street view van entered her property and took pictures. It was unintentional sure, but it was perfectly legal. She publically displayed underwear, even though they were situated upon private property. It's perfectly legal to take pictures of it and do whatever you feel with them.

Just the way your front door or your garden might be situated on private property, but the reason you keep it painted or the reason you mow the lawn is because you're displaying it publicly. She needs to take a deep breath, swallow, and then set out on an arduous long journey toward getting a life!

She has no case. I can't see what all the confusion here is about. :|

I'm missing the chain of causality here... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34630520)

She says it caused her to lose her job, but the article fails to actually make the connection between the two. She didn't lose her job until after *SHE* discovered the photo, but there's a good chance that the photo had been there for quite some time before she noticed it... what, exactly, is her basis for presuming that the photo caused her to lose her job? Even if the existence of the photo is causally related to her losing her job, would it not be much more likely that it was her reaction to the photo, rather than the picture itself that could have precipitated her unexpected change in employment status?

Just because you don't like something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34630528)

Doesn't mean anyone owes you an apology
  Doesn't mean anyone owes you money

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