Google is facing a threat of expensive legal action over the recent leaked naked celebrity photographs, according to IT Pro. The basis for the legal threat is built on the idea that the search giant didn’t do enough to prevent people seeing the photographs after the initial leak.
The Telegraph reports that “the company allegedly failed to remove the images from its search results.” It also notes that “many of the stolen images are still on Google sites BlogSpot and YouTube, despite Lavely & Singer sending a notice to have them removed four weeks ago.”
The letter from the law firm representing a group of 12 unnamed celebrities, obtained by the New York Post states that “Google knows that the images are hacked stolen property, private and confidential photos and videos unlawfully obtained and posted by pervert predators who are violating the victims’ privacy rights and basic human decency by stealing and displaying confidential private photos and videos.”
The letter suggests that while websites such as Twitter acted quickly to remove references to the pictures, Google has been far less proactive. The Register quotes the letter as stating the lawsuit “‘could well exceed’ $100 million” if Google fail to comply and remove the remaining remnants of the stolen photographs from its search results.
Speaking to The Register, a Google spokesperson responded by stating that the company had been anything but complacent in dealing with the hack: “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures – within hours of the requests being made – and we have closed hundreds of accounts.”
In a blog post on the subject of the stolen photographs, ESET’s Stephen Cobb stated that it is important to ensure that blame is attributed where it is really deserved: with the criminals themselves. “Let’s put some of that anger and outrage into lobbying our government to take more decisive action against cybercrime and the people who perpetrate it,” he wrote.