Google Execs Found Guilty in Italy for Privacy Violations
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A decision by an Italian court to convict three Google executives of privacy violations has drawn outrage on both side of the Atlantic Ocean. Officials for the Internet company used words like “astonishing” and “outraged” to describe the decision. Even the former information commissioner of the United Kingdom, Richard Thomas, said the case gave privacy law “a bad name.”

The case, which was being closely watched due to the potential ramifications on Internet freedom, revolved around an Internet video that was posted online which showed an autistic child being beaten and bullied. The Google employees were accused of breaking Italian law by allowing the video to be accessed online. While they were absolved of defamation, Magi convicted the trio of privacy violations for not acquiring consent  from all the parties involved.

“The judge has decided I’m primarily responsible for the actions of some teenagers who uploaded a reprehensible video to Google video,” Google’s global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer, who was convicted in absentia, said in a statement.


Added Google spokesman Bill Echikson to the Associated Press: “We will appeal this astonishing decision. We are deeply troubled by this decision. It attacks the principles of freedom on which the Internet was built.”

Also convicted were David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president and chief legal officer, and retired chief financial officer George Reyes. Arvind Desikan, senior product marketing manager for Google, was acquitted.

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