Google could be slapped with US$100m lawsuit over stolen celeb pics

2 Oct 2014

If celebrities involved in the iCloud photo theft have their way, internet search giant Google could be issued a fine of US$100m for not acting quickly enough to remove links containing the images.

The threat has been issued by lawyer Martin Singer who is representing more than a dozen celebrities involved in the massive privacy breach and in a letter issued to Google, accuses their response to the posting of hundreds of links as ‘despicable’ and ‘reprehensible’.

According to The Guardian, the six page letter said in no uncertain terms that Singer and his clients believe that Google was “knowingly accommodating, facilitating, and perpetuating the unlawful conduct”, while “making millions and profiting from the victimisation of women.”

The letter, which was obtained by The New York Post’s website PageSix, has attempted to back up their argument against Google by claiming that other services, particularly Twitter, responded quickly to users posting the images by removing them with Singer claiming Google’s ‘Don’t be evil’ slogan is nothing more than a ‘sham’.

The fact that celebrities were the people involved in this scandal has also proven to be a bone of contention with the lawyer who has represented famous people in the past including John Travolta, as he says he believes Google attempted to profit from their fame and image rights: “Because the victims are celebrities with valuable publicity rights you do nothing – nothing but collect millions of dollars in advertising revenue … as you seek to capitalise on this scandal rather than quash it.”

Google have yet to issue a response on the matter.

Jennifer Lawrence image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic