Google is staring down the barrel of a $100 million gun in form of a lawsuit, threatened by those whose photographs were ultimately compromised in the iCloud security breach that landed thousands of images on social networks, search engines, and everywhere else across the internet.
The company announced that they had already deleted “tens of thousands” of the inappropriate and leaked images of Jenifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, and many more Hollywood starlets.
However, the Attorney’s representing the Hollywood stars cites that the action didn’t happen quickly enough and that the company benefited financially from the leak. Marty Singer, the attorney in question, claimed that Google ignored initial requests to take the personal photos and data down, before actually beginning to afterward.
“Google has taken little or no action to stop these outrageous violations. Google is making millions and profiting from the victimizations of women,” Singer said in a letter written for a news outlet in Hollywood, describing the fight he would be taking to Google.
Many have contested that the leaked photographs are still on sites like Blogger, YouTube and even general Google searches, even though Google has said they’ve eliminated tens of thousands of photographs from their site and closed hundreds of accounts which were perpetuating the photographs.
Apple responded quickly and added security alerts to their iCloud service to protect against unwanted behavior or hacking – but hasn’t added any advanced security settings. The point is that right now, Google is the only company at the heart of this litigation attack, and that very-well could be, because there is little evidence to bring against anyone else.
If Google acted maliciously, or failed to remove the images as quickly as they could then clearly they will face a lot of litigation, and will potentially lose hundreds of millions in losses from the situation. However, it remains to be seen whether this is a matter of Google fundamentally failing to act, or acting maliciously to drive their bottom line – or if it’s simply a matter of litigation in an effort to assign blame for the breach and perpetuating of inappropriate, private photos.
The photos were originally released on 4Chan and went viral shortly thereafter last month after celebrities began confirming the legitimacy of the photos and verifying the breach.