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'Google Breakup': A Streetview Invasion of Privacy?

By Brett Snider, Esq. | Last updated on

Nobody wants Google Streetview capturing their saddest moments and displaying them on the internet, especially their breakups.

But that's what seems to have happened to this Southern California woman, who had her picture taken at what might as well have been 123 Dumpsville Road.

Is Google Streetview invading your privacy by memorializing your pain on their maps?

You can see the Google Streetview "breakup" image in question on Imgur and Reddit.

U.S. privacy law serves to protect the private lives and information of those within its jurisdiction, and typically taking photos of someone in a private moment is considered an illegal intrusion of solitude.

However, this law does not apply to photos of someone taken in public, and the unfortunate Google dumpee appears to be on a public street.

Even if it isn't illegal, just like with Facebook photos, the person pictured in the Streetview photo may contact Google and ask them to remove it

What About the (Alleged) Breakup Story?

Although Google Streetview has taken photos of people in very private moments (such as men urinating in their yards), it doesn't editorialize.

The story of the girl being dumped -- if it's even true -- didn't come from Google, it came from user Ipmark04 on Reddit, who describes the picture as "the glorious moment" when his friend kicked his ex-girlfriend to the curb.

This woman in the picture may not be able to sue Google, but she may be able to sue Ipmark04 for false light, a form of invasion of privacy. Similar to suing for defamation, an invasion of privacy lawsuit may be successful if it's proven that:

Even though Google has already settled for millions for some of its Streetview privacy violations, potential liability for this one, if any, appears to be on Redditor Ipmark04.

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