The executives--David Drummond, Google's chief legal officer; George Reyes, former CFO; Peter Fleischer, global privacy counsel; and an unnamed employee--face charges as prosecutors argue that the video shouldn't have been published.
Should Google have to get consent from a subject before a video is uploaded? Aside from the fact that Google would have an impossible task, I reckon Italy has more important matters to worry about--like debt that's more than 100 percent of GDP.
According to the IAPP's Tracey Bentley:
It is believed to be the first criminal sanction ever pursued against a privacy professional for his company's actions.
Bentley also outlines some of the case details:
Milan public prosecutor Francesco Cajani decided that by allowing the 191-second clip onto its site, Google executives were in breach of Italian penal code.
Peter Fleischer was on his way into the University of Milan for a speaking engagement January 23, 2008 when five law enforcement officials with summonses surrounded him. According to Fleischer, the officers had been waiting for him, but ultimately allowed him to deliver his talk before taking him to a deposition before the public prosecutor.
Cajani is prosecuting Google as an Internet content provider. Unlike Internet service providers, Italian penal code states that Internet content providers are responsible for the third-party content posted to their sites. This is essentially the same law regulating newspaper and television publishers.
Google thinks this prosecutor--Cajani is now a global name--has overstepped.