NANTES, France, March 2 A Frenchman took
Google to court on Thursday over a photo published online by its
Street View application showing him urinating in his front yard
which he believes has made him the laughing stock of his village
in rural northwest France.
The man, who is aged around 50 and lives in a village of
some 3,000 people in the Maine-et-Loire region, is demanding the
removal of the photo, in which locals have recognised him
despite his face being blurred out.
He also wants 10,000 euros ($13,300) in damages.
"Everyone has the right to a degree of secrecy," his lawyer,
Jean-Noel Bouillard, told Reuters. "In this particular case,
it's more amusing than serious. But if he'd been caught kissing
a woman other than his wife, he would have had the same issue."
Google Inc.'s Street View, covering some 30
countries and available in France since 2008, enables users of
Google Maps to also view photos of streets taken by its camera
cars, which have cameras hoisted on frames on their roofs.
The man thought he was hidden from view by his closed gate
as he relieved himself in November 2010. But Google's lens
caught him from above his gate as it passed by. Bouillard did
not explain why the man chose to urinate outside.
Google's lawyer in the case, named by local daily Ouest
France as Christophe Bigot, was not immediately reachable, but
the newspaper said he was pleading that the case should be
declared null and void.
The court, in the nearby city of Angers, is due to give its
verdict on March 15.
($1 = 0.7501 euros)
(Reporting by Guillaume Frouin; Writing by Catherine Bremer;
Editing by Myra MacDonald)