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back to article Weeing Frenchman sues Google over Street View photo

A Frenchman is suing Google over a Street View photo that shows him peeing in his garden, which has made him the laughing stock of his village. As with most people in Street View pics, the man is slightly blurred, but because he comes from such a small place and he was at his own house, everyone recognised him. "He discovered …

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Meh

Pics...

... or it didn't happen

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Re: Pics...

6mins ago

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2109209/Frenchman-takes-google-court-streetview-image-urinating-garden.html?ITO=1490

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Re: Pics...

Is that *the* picture?

He looks like he's just standing there. Couldn't tell he was Oui'ing at all.

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Meh

Re: Pics...

I also noticed the yellow hose - possibly washing l'auto ?

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Re: Pics...

Isn't Lord Rothermere's non-dom status down to his French holdings?

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Alert

Re: Pics...

That backside should be blurred out to protect the rest of us

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pics...

Nor me, and by bringing the case to court has meant any person viewing the register and daily mail will see the pic.

I can kinda see something to the right of the number plate, but I guess if your not going to pi$$ in your toilet, you never know who is looking. But even if there is a hose pipe ban, don't pi$$ on your car!

Perhaps having a warning vehicle in front of the google camera car/van might an idea, after all i guess the aim of the game is to photograph streets etc, not the people.

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Joke

I think that someone is.........

............taking the piss.

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WHY DO YOU NEEDS PICS?

peeing outside is a very well known French pastime.

Why the surprise?

Why is he complaining when his neighbors see him do it all the time?

It's a Way of life in France.

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TRT
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So long...

as he wasn't filling up wine bottles.

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Anonymous Coward

Meh...

Every man does this sort of thing now and then - the desire to mark our territory is in our DNA... Nothing to be ashamed of IMHO.

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"This gentleman is an awkward customer who hopes to make a quick buck."

...or possibly doesn't appreciate being photographed in his own damned garden and put on the internet. If his gate was closed and he couldn't be seen by pedestrians, then he would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, IMO.

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Anonymous Coward

I know

That dam Google with their magic wall penetrating street view system,

How about this simple rule to live by - if you don't want anyone to see what you are doing then don't do it where anyone can see.

Else learn to laugh it off.

(can someone explain why it feels like the percentage of people who are just stupid is rising so fast?)

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Anonymous Coward

Re: rise of the stupid

Stupid people tend to have offspring more frequently than clever people. Assuming that intelligence is somewhat based on biological factors, then the answer is pretty clear.

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JDX
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Ah yes, closing my garden gate erects a wall of invisibility too. If he was visible to a car with a camera on top, he was visible to anyone in a van or lorry or bus, etc.

Also - since when is weeing in public a problem in France

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Anonymous Coward

Re: rise of the stupid

My two theories

One - there is the same amount of "smarts" to be distributed to every generation. So as the number of people increase there are more people are at the end of the line when we run out. Ask anyone from an older generation and they will be very happy to tell you how stupid the youth of today are. {}:>))

or in the past stupid people would die off at an early age (well, they are stupid) and have less of an impact on the rest of us. Now we do so much to protect them and keep them alive - not sure why.

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Re: I know

Google's cars have the camera's mounted on a contraption that's on top of the roof of the car.

Assuming that they are taking pics while they are collecting Lidar data, the cameras are at least 6' off the ground, if not higher.

IMHO the guy's lawsuit is valid.

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WTF?

Re: I know

My eyes are almost 6' off the ground... Over 6' if I'm on tiptoes.

The camera is therefore seeing what Joe in the street would see.

Still a valid lawsuit?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I know

Bollocks, my eyes are at least 6' off the ground. Just because you're a shortarse doesn't mean everything above your head is private.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I know

My god your right - we need to pass some laws

Everyone over 6 feet needs to crawl everywhere

All buses, trucks and tall SUVs need black out windows

Stilts - just shoot anyone walking on stilts

Ban any neighbors from having houses that may see into the yard - or they can't have windows.

Or maybe just say if you whip it when outside just smile for the camera.

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Vic
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Re: I know

> can someone explain why it feels like the percentage of people who

> are just stupid is rising so fast?

It's the elect-tro-lites.

Vic.

[Off to watch "Ow my balls"]

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I know

The problem is not that they or anyone else happening to pass by ***in that small village in France*** could see him (he certainly wouldn't have sued a passing neighbour), but that Google takes a picture and then goes and ***distributes*** it world-widely for millions of people to see (most of which would never ever come to that small village in France).

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FAIL

Re: I know

You make it sound like Google maliciously and deliberately posted the photo just to embarrass him. But the fact of the matter is that this guy is not the first to get caught... err.. out, nor will he be the last. Furthermore, all you have to do is fill out a form and google will revisit the picture and do some further touching up.

Meanwhile, he's created enough of a stir that he's now the WORLD's laughing stock, never mind just his little village.

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Linux

reasonable expectation?

If you can be seen by a car on the road with a camera on it... then you can most definitely be seen by pedestrians. Is that your definition of reasonable expectation of privacy?

Penguin because they would most definitely utilize the garden in such a way...

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Mushroom

Re: I know

I happen to know you're a neighbour, I'll adjust my telescope accordingly and record your every move.

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Re: reasonable expectation?

The Google cars were a standard car with a little tripod/tower affair on the roof and cameras on top. Tall as you are; the Google cameras were taller than you. Unless -of course- you are a 7' basketball player on a pogo stick.

The Google cameras were a lot higher than the average eyeball; and there's no way to plan for that. Well OK there is; but until the G-cams came around, there was no point in guarding against that scenario because there were no tall pogo stick enthusiasts in your village.

I know for sure that if I had an 'unguarded moment' on my own land when I thought I was in private; and it later turned out that someone with a high-ish camera took a photo and put me on the internet without my permission; I would be unbelievably pissed off. I would require a minimum of:

The driver to be slapped with a fish of not less than 5 Lb; wielded by a rugby player and with a runup of between 5-6 metres. The fish should not be frozen, because that would be nasty. Nor should it be one of those South American ones with lots of teeth and pointy bits. And nothing from Australia because all the nature is trying to kill you there.

Whoever thought of it should prostrate themselves in front of every single person in the village on a little rubber mat; apologise massively for the intrusion; And pay the man his 10K. For a data rape of that magnitude; 10K is eminently reasonable. It doesn't even matter what he was doing...look at the angle of the photo (we're looking down on guttering). It was a privacy rape and the rapists should make amends.

"How can you compare that with rape?", I hear you cry. And you have a point. As far as I know, rape doesn't go on for more than hours and they don't know what you're thinking. Google goes on for life and they do.

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Re: reasonable expectation?

1 thumbs up & 2 thumbs down

What? WHAT? Because I used the word rape? The rot started when governments voted themselves the right to read my fucking email. That was quite a while ago; and it seemed to happen everywhere and nobody seemed to notice it.

It's taking your most personal things -your thoughts- and using them for purposes that are not your own.

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Boffin

Re: I know

@Lockwood,

I said that they are over 6'. How much, I don't know.

Doesn't matter.

There is an expectation of privacy.

Looking at the photo. I'd say the camera was a tad higher than 6'

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Anonymous Coward

some very very tall people around here

And if you look at the picture you can tell that the camera was a *lot* higher than any pedestrian you are ever likely to see.

Not many people have their eyes at roof-height!

If you weren't there with a step-ladder peering over the wall you would never have seen it - IMHO this is what makes it a privacy violation. If you were in a high vehicle you would have had a fleeting glimpse and that's it - as opposed to taking a picture and publishing it on the net just to sell more adverts.

But it's OK because it's google and they are doing it to *everyone* so you aren't allowed to object and the don't-care crowd shouts louder anyway.

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Re: I know

"That dam Google with their magic wall penetrating street view system,..."

The Google Streetview cameras take their photos from a vantage point considerably higher than someone walking in the street - some of the complaints, where Streetview has photographed people in their garden behind a 2m wall, don't seem unreasonable. However, the peeing Frenchman appears to be a bit if a chancer.

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Alert

Re: I know

A quick search (and Google is your friend here!) shows the camera to be, perhaps, 10 feet above ground level.

See: http://perpetualanticipation.blogspot.com/2011/06/strange-and-beautiful-photos-from.html

Compare the gentleman in the background to the camera height, assume he is 6 feet tall.

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Re: reasonable expectation?

a google camera may be higher than a man, but not higher than a man in a van or a bus

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I know

This is stupid - I don't care where you live if you don't want someone (your neighbor, someone driving by, or the Google street view camera) seeing what you are doing then don't do it where they can see!

In today's where where just about everyone is carrying a camera (cell phone) the odds are someone is going to capture it and it is going to end up on the internet.

If you do whip it out for the world to see then make sure you are a "big enough" man to handle it.

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Unhappy

Re: I know

" You make it sound like Google maliciously and deliberately posted the photo just to embarrass him.But the fact of the matter is that this guy is not the first to get caught... err.. out, nor will he be the last. "

No, it's that Google negligently published the picture without any editorial control, despite various similar incidents in the past. Google's business model is "give offerings to the Almighty Algorithm", and is predicated on minimal human intervention. Even if he gets the money he's asked for, Google will continue to do this, and people will continue to be compromised in Google snaps. Because it's making lots of money for Google.

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Re: I know

This is a pic I took from a Google Street car, as it passed by me.

I was walking, I'm 1,86 m and this car is not a tall one. Picture took in Brazil.

Ah, yes. The camera is the red spherical thing.

http://twitpic.com/6bfqke

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WTF?

Re: reasonable expectation?

WTF?

Please pay attention.

You have a regular sized car with a pod on the roof.

When the car is taking LIDAR measurements, they are also taking photographs. The instruments when extended are raised above the car. So at 6' your line of sight standing next to the car is at the roof line. The cameras when extended are going to be higher. Let's say 3' higher. Again I don't know because the cars are different in each country and the setups will vary. (I don't think all cars have LIDAR mounted on them. )

The car's cameras are high enough to peep over privacy walls.

Not to mention as another poster pointed out that Google posts the photos automatically w little human intervention.

Could they preprocess the photos to see if there are humans in the shot and then do a manual inspection? Yes, but that would take a large cluster of computers and cost $$$$.

(and yes I know the rough numbers ... ;-)

So Google could do more to respect the pivacy.

Note also that there have been lawsuits in other countries limiting the activities of Googles cars.

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Holmes

If I was judging this case...

His case revolves around the fact he was photographed while urinating, correct?

So as a judge (real life judge in Crown Court), I would be required to be shown conclusive proof that he was urinating, rather then merely washing his car - as can be surmised by the hosepipe.

On the subject of invasion of privacy, there really is no case to answer anyway. Google did not photograph people in the street, they photographed the streets - people just happened to be in them at the time. Its no different to photographing a statue in the park, your children swimming, your car, or anything else in a public place where people are also incidentally photographed. Unless you intend SPECIFICALLY to photograph somebody, you are entitled to take photographs in the street. What you see on Street View is exactly what you see from eye level (approx 6 ft as you say). Therefore there is no invasion of privacy also.

I would probably throw the case out (with a recommendation that Google simply blur him out entirely and be done with it) on the basis that he will be unable to prove he wasn't doing anything that 1000's of other people in the world were doing and have no problem with it.

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Re: I know

As Frank Zappa sadly said... "The most common thing in the universe is stupidity"

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Weeing Frenchman

I see what you did there!

If he had his trousers down and was really weeing, was he really peeing?

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Joke

Contradiction?

If he's taking a wizz, how could the "gate" be closed?

(obligatory racial stereotyping) I don't know, these unhygienic Frenchmen. Don't even know how to use trousers properly!

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Big Brother

Lawyer

Good name for a big company lawyer

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Anonymous Coward

"gentleman is an awkward customer"?

Does he run ads on Google? If not then he's not a customer. Nor is he even a user in this case.

I'd expect a lawyer to know the difference.

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Re: "gentleman is an awkward customer"?

I was going to say: did he pay the google camera's off. And since I am pretty sure he didn't - he aint no customer.

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Happy

Irony alert!

"Bigot is arguing that the summons to French court is invalid on the grounds that the site is published by Google US, not Google France."

So in essence the argument is; "Nothing to do with us, it's those shifty foreign types.". You can where he got his name from.......

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How close were the pictures to be so embarrassing?

French guys usually seem happy to carry on chatting mid-pee from those bizarre hides-a-bit-of-you metal shed pissoir things with no sense of shame at all.

I'm guessing that to actually suffer embarrassment the picture must have been very close up indeed.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How close were the pictures to be so embarrassing?

From the pictures on the dailymail I would say you can't see anything. In fact it looks like he's got his arms crossed and is just standing in the drive.

Guess he doesn't need to use both hands like some of us.

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Coat

Re: pissoirs

One essential difference though, is that pissoirs are actually designed for pissing in, unlike a garden.

We've all taken a leak somewhere in public, behind a tree or in a shop doorway, if we're nowhere near an available toilet, but you have to be one lazy-ass mo-fo if you *can't be bothered to walk into your own house* to take a slash.

I imagine his neighbours' mockery is based more on his laziness, than on his violation of the acceptable rules of French behaviour (which I understand to be somewhat more 'relaxed' than those of the average Daily Mail reader).

Mine's the one with the funnel and plastic tubing in the pocket.

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Childcatcher

Re: How close were the pictures to be so embarrassing?

Yeah, the Vespasiennes

http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/vespasienne

most have been closed, like 99.99%, for years.

They are now closed structures for 1... Officially...

and free to use in Paris...

The Vespasiennes were also known as Pissotieres

http://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/pissotière

Try and translate the french examples given for pissotière, explaning the use in a sentence (nsfw... possibly worse with google translate...) and you will understand, possibly, why they were closed...

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