It yet another reminder of how nobody has an expectation of privacy if they can be seen from a public street, a Miami woman was captured by a Google camera car completely nude as she stood on her front porch.
For all we know, the woman may have stepped outside of her Liberty City home for only a few seconds, thinking nobody would notice.
The woman was savvy enough to cover her face, but her street address is in full view.
The truth is, there is probably a better chance of her getting struck by a random bullet in Liberty City than to have been captured by the Google camera car.
The incident will no doubt once again raise the issue about privacy concerns regarding Google’s camera cars.
Google, which is on a mission to photograph every inch of the developed world, has come under scrutiny from the Department of Defense as well as civilians.
In 2008, the Department of Defense asked Google to remove images of a military base in Texas and forbade it from photographing any more military installations. Google complied without further legal complications.
That same year, a Pennsylvania coupled sued Google for privacy, trespassing, negligence, and unjust enrichment after a picture of their home was posted on the internet.
A judge dismissed the case, saying the photo did not cause them any distress, but they appealed and were allowed to proceed with a trespassing claim because the Google car was apparently on a private road when it snapped the photo.
They ended up winning that claim – a mast sum of one dollar – which Google happily paid.
It would be interesting to see how a distress claim would turn out in this case, considering her address is in full-view and the picture is quickly going viral.
Then there was the case of North Oaks, Minnesota, which is a completely private community, meaning even the roads are private. Google agreed to remove the photos after a request from the North Oaks City Council.
But for the most part, everybody and everything is fair game to be photographed in the United States.
In Europe and other parts of the world, it is not so clear-cut where some countries have laws that forbid the photographing of people in public for public display without their consent.
Google insists it respects people’s privacy regardless of country and has been blurring people’s faces since 2008.
So maybe our Liberty City resident should have covered something other than her face.
UPDATE: Google has since removed her picture.
UPDATE II: Google has reposted the picture, but blurred her out.