Google must filter out lewd photos of ex-FIA boss from search engine in Germany

The Hamburg court ruled on Friday that Google in Germany must filter and remove search results from its image search engine that refer to photos of Max Mosley. The photos show the ex-boss of the car and racing organization FIA at an SM party.

The images are from a video and appeared on the internet in 2008. Mosley has since said he has already spent €600,000 in 23 countries to get them off the internet. The Hamburg court ruled in favor of the ex-FIA chief executive in his claim that the photos infringe his privacy and that Google is therefore no longer allowed to display them in its search results. Google must take measures to prevent ‘further distribution’, whereby the judge does not know how the search company does this.

One consideration would have been that this shouldn’t be such a problem for Google because the image finder would already have filtering software. According to the Süddeutsche, Google calls the ruling a “disturbing signal”: “It is an individual and specific case, but the ruling could lead to providers being obliged to monitor the content of the smallest files that they transport or store for customers. .” Google is appealing the ruling.

In November last year, Google lost the comparable case in France. There, Google invoked freedom of expression on the internet and claimed that it had to build in new filtering software to filter the photos.