Woman sues Google over underwear images posted on Street View

Google Street view car

A Japanese woman is suing Google over a revealing Street View image, according to a report out of The Telegraph UK. The unidentified woman is asking for 600,000 Yen (US$7163) due to psychological distress caused by the publication of a Street View image that showed her skivvies presumably hanging on a clothesline to dry. According to the court documents, the woman's obsessive-compulsive disorder was exacerbated by the sight of the her underwear on the Internet and her anxiety became overwhelming. Fearing she was being watched and the potential target of a sex crime, she moved from her residence and was fired from her job. 

While her case might be extreme, this is a problem that continues to plague Google's Street View service, especially in Japan. In 2009, Google had to re-shoot parts of the island nation due to the camera height of the Google Street view vehicles. The cameras extended above most of the fences in Japan and captured images of people in their backyards with their laundry hanging on clotheslines.  Enough people complained about the sight of their hanging underwear that Google lowered the camera by 16 inches and re-filmed 15 cities including major cities like Osaka and Tokyo. Unfortunately for this lady and others out there like her, the cameras still caught the occasional embarrassing moment.

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OK, her getting that upset tells me that there is SOMETHING about HER UNDERWEAR that is particularly embarassing. Maybe they are heavily "soiled" and she was unable to sell them to some Japanese businessman. You know they have vending machines that sell "soiled panties" to those sick freaks.

There is a good point within this, though. If these photos are meant to be from a human eye's view, then why does the camera need to be so high?

Meph said,
There is a good point within this, though. If these photos are meant to be from a human eye's view, then why does the camera need to be so high?

If it's from a human perspective, other vehicles and people would block the view of the buildings themselves.

Fezmid said,

If it's from a human perspective, other vehicles and people would block the view of the buildings themselves.

Thats such a nice excuse, what was the excuse to 'steal' people's wifi?
its always an excuse from google, and fan boys keep believing it

So why is it bad that someone sees a bunch of drying underwear? I honestly don't get it.
This woman must have a hell when she's shopping underwear. Like wandering in a porn shop.

Northgrove said,
So why is it bad that someone sees a bunch of drying underwear? I honestly don't get it.
This woman must have a hell when she's shopping underwear. Like wandering in a porn shop.

Ye, you still seem to think every human is exactly the same? Go back to Soviet Russia please.

Byron_Hinson said,
If I went out in my pants during the day I'd get all I deserve!

Clearly you only read the headline and not the article

As ridiculous as this seems to us in the states, it's easy to forget that in some other countries, namely Japan, it's like being on a different planet. It's important for us, and Google, to respect the values of the Japanese society; just as we would expect foreigners in our own native lands to respect ours.

I don't doubt the woman is taking it a little far, but I also don't doubt that, from a Japanese person's perspective, they would see it as extreme as we do.

negroplasty said,
As ridiculous as this seems to us in the states, it's easy to forget that in some other countries, namely Japan, it's like being on a different planet. It's important for us, and Google, to respect the values of the Japanese society; just as we would expect foreigners in our own native lands to respect ours.

I don't doubt the woman is taking it a little far, but I also don't doubt that, from a Japanese person's perspective, they would see it as extreme as we do.

You mean the country that sells used women's underwear in vending machines, packed quickly for "freshness"?

schubb2003 said,

You mean the country that sells used women's underwear in vending machines, packed quickly for "freshness"?


How about google's home country?
Nothing embarrassing or retarded happens in the US EVER???


...moron

That's fancy underwear.

And for a measly 5000$? Google would probably hand it to her if it weren't for the precedent that would come with that, that Google could be pushed around by anyone for chump change.

its a totally different thing for a person to peer over a fence and another entirely to have it free for all to look at on the internet

i thought you are supposed to see all kind of things and people, be it dumb or smart, when you walk on the street. hence street view.

and i am pretty sure suing google and going high profile will really minimize her psychological stress. right. an av idol can fake better than that.

Boy, I would hate for her to see her undies in a magazine article or in the stores where she bought them. She might have a panic attack and think the store broke into her house and stole them. I mean seriously if you seen the SAME pair in the store you would know that the stores selling them//if you seen them in GOOGLE MAPS you would know about the street viewers car and the fact that it wouldnt be some sex crime stalker.. I feel as if people don't quite understand technology and she had no idea what she was looking at now Google must suffer.


Now for the fences.. Are you guys still talking about that? Wasn't it explained in earlier topics and corrected by Google? I mean the average privacy fence here is like 6ft, An average male adult can walk by one and he can see over it. I can drive by with my pickup and see over every fence. I will agree though that there's no reason for that camera to have been THAT high, however, they most likely wanted to make sure it would be above any car/truck if parallel with on the street when taking images and you have to understand thats a SMALL car height wise. That cameras maybe only 8/9 feet high so it barely clears over-top the Diesels/Heavy Duty's or otherwise aftermarket raised trucks.

This will definitely get thrown out. I mean, what's to stop people from suing Google for posting images of the back of my head. I know it's my head, it's on the internet, I can't handle that.

[quote=Elessar said,]This will definitely get thrown out. I mean, what's to stop people from suing Google for posting images of the back of my head. I know it's my head, it's on the internet, I can't handle that.[/quote

So why do people have fences then?

It's a combination of preventing physical access and privacy.

I can't see many people with a (for example) 7 foot fence (far above the average height) being happy with anyone doing a drive-by and peering into their backyards.

We have fences for a reason, Google needs to respect that.

everyone has underwear. grow up japan your culture sensationalizes rape and incest in almost every cartoon but undies hanging to dry is a national outrage??!!

Co_Co said,
everyone has underwear. grow up japan your culture sensationalizes rape and incest in almost every cartoon but undies hanging to dry is a national outrage??!!

Coincidentally (or not) they also have the lowest rape percentage in the world.

But most certainly this is BS. I would laugh if I saw my underwear in Google Streetview.

Co_Co said,
everyone has underwear. grow up japan your culture sensationalizes rape and incest in almost every cartoon but undies hanging to dry is a national outrage??!!

You making generalised statement and assuming that Japan is the only country with a sueing culture. Chances are, this made national news because such instances are so rare, unlike in certain other countries.

Recon415 said,

But most certainly this is BS. I would laugh if I saw my underwear in Google Streetview.

I'd wonder how they managed to get mine squeezed into a single frame...

Eddo89 said,

You making generalised statement and assuming that Japan is the only country with a sueing culture. Chances are, this made national news because such instances are so rare, unlike in certain other countries.

Uh...did you reply to the wrong comment? The post says nothing about a "sue" mentality.

Hell-In-A-Handbasket said,
if people are worried about their skivies being seen, why line dry to begin with. thats why i own a dryer, if space is concern they have stack units

You own a dryer because you don't want your underwear being seen? That's a really poor excuse for creating carbon.

Raa said,

You own a dryer because you don't want your underwear being seen? That's a really poor excuse for creating carbon.

I own a dryer because for about 5 months out of the year it is -20c and I don't want my underwear freezing into a underwear icicle.

littleneutrino said,
I hate that people keep suing google, a random walker by would have seen the same thing are you going to sue them as well.

Nope, the original Google camera was so high (as can be seen in the photo) that it shot over privacy fences that would block view for random walkers.

littleneutrino said,
I hate that people keep suing google, a random walker by would have seen the same thing are you going to sue them as well.

*I love that people are keep suing google, a random interweb browser-by would keep seeing the same thing over and over as well. There fixed it for you!

Leave Britney Spears alone ??

macel said,
Nope, the original Google camera was so high (as can be seen in the photo) that it shot over privacy fences that would block view for random walkers.

OP said,
Unfortunately for this lady and others out there like her, the cameras still caught the occasional embarrassing moment.

Well I guess really if the stories to be believed this woman's undies were caught with the new upskirt 16inch lower down camera.

littleneutrino said,
I hate that people keep suing google, a random walker by would have seen the same thing are you going to sue them as well.

Not unless he's the World's Tallest Man!

FMH said,

Not unless he's the World's Tallest Man!
Not really. In Japan, you'd only need to be about 5'10" to see over most fences. You have to remember, there are a lot of small people over there

flexkeyboard said,

*I love that people are keep suing google, a random interweb browser-by would keep seeing the same thing over and over as well. There fixed it for you!

Leave Britney Spears alone ??


Fixed? By making it make absolutely NO sense whatsoever? I don't even think that qualifies as English.