Google could soon be slapped with a lawsuit coming from over a dozen of female celebrities, who were victims of the recent nude photo hacking scandal, for allegedly failing to discard off celebrities’ indecent images from its search results.
According to a report prominent lawyer Marty Singer, who is representing the scandal victims, has threatened to sue the US online search giant for $100 million (£62m) in damages.
In a letter sent to Google, Singer has accused the search giant of neglecting to “to act expeditiously, and responsibly to remove the images.” He said Google should pay damages for “knowingly accommodating, facilitating, and perpetuating the unlawful conduct.”
Singer wrote Google had a financial motive behind not removing the alleged pictures from its search results as it wanted to make multi-millions of dollars from the victimization of women.
“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 … Yet Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations,” the letter read.
Singer further claims that he has sent multiple notices of violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to Google. However, Google, unlike other sites like Twitter which has already removed the photos, was still displaying them in its search results and hosting them on its YouTube and blogspot websites.
Responding to the accusations, the search giant said “We’ve removed tens of thousands of pictures — within hours of the requests being made — and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”
Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Jenny McCarthy, Kirsten Dunst, Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, Aubrey Plaza, Olsen and Hudgens, Ariana Grande, Jessica Brown Findlay, Mary E Winstead, Mary E Winstead, Cara Delevingne, Kate Bosworth, Selena Gomez, Kaley Cuoco and US soccer player Hope Solo are some of the celebrities who had their private pictures stolen from their Apple Inc iCloud accounts and posted on websites including Reddit and 4chan since early September.