Mom rails at Google over Street View pic of naked toddler

A woman discovers that Street View cameras captured her 3-year-old son naked in his grandmother's garden. She claims it is an invitation to pedophiles.

This is not quite the story of the horse-boy , more one of the boy whose picture made his mother hoarse.

According to the Manchester Evening News, Claire Rowlands, of Greater Manchester, U.K., happened to be on Google Street View when she happened upon an image of her 3-year-old son in his grandmother's garden. The boy was only wearing his shoes.

"I just felt sick to my stomach when I saw the naked picture of Louis on the Internet. I'm angry, disgusted and upset about it - they should be checking every image before it goes up," she told the Evening News.

Her concerns seem to revolve around the idea that nefarious viewers of Street View might somehow pay her family additional attention. Although the boy was seen only from behind, pictures of his face also appear on Street View.

"It's such a clear image, I see it as an indecent photograph - my concern is that pedophiles could see it and there's no way I ever wanted my son to be seen naked all over the world," she said to the Evening News.

Whatever will they see next? CC Woozie2010/Flickr

Google apologized, but rather than removing the image, the company merely blurred the boy's bottom half.

The Evening News quoted a Google spokesperson as saying: "This is why we have put in place tools so that if people see what they believe to be inappropriate, they can report them to us using the simple tools and the images will be quickly removed. We apologize for any inadvertent concern this may have caused."

One person's inappropriate is another's indifferent. However, perhaps some will have sympathy with Rowlands when it comes to Google relying on real people to discover potential peccadilloes rather than policing its own images before they go up.

The argument seems to be that it is up to you to complain if Google has posted a picture that might be difficult for you to tolerate, rather it being Google's own responsibility.

Oddly, the license plate of a car in the driveway where Rowlands' son was playing was blurred, as Google's technology automatically blurs license plates, but not naked bodies.

However, if Rowlands is concerned about her privacy, some might wonder if it was entirely wise to pose for pictures for a newspaper.

 

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