In the aftermath of a large hacking attack that saw the personal photos of many celebrities released on the internet earlier this year, Google has now come forward saying that “tens of thousands” of said images were removed from the search giant’s services promptly after requests were made. This disclosure comes almost immediately after Google was threatened with a $100 million lawsuit from lawyers representing the celebrities who had their pictures stolen.
In a statement made to ZDNet, Google has refuted the lawyers’ claims that requests for the removal of images were ignored, saying that they worked as quickly as possible within the hours after a request was made. In addition, hundreds of offending accounts were said to have been deleted from Google-owned properties like YouTube and Blogger. The company closed its statement with a mention of its philosophy that “The internet is used for many good things. Stealing people’s private photos is not one of them.”
The basis for the legal threat against Google was that they were not following the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which required the images to be taken down following a request from the original owners. Lawyers representing the celebrities stated that Google was actively profiting from victims’ stolen pictures, which led to speculation of damages reaching $100 million.
It was further argued that the pictures could still be found on Google sites some four weeks and a dozen requests after the first takedown notice was sent. While currently Google’s own Transparently Report shows that 444 links have been scrubbed from search results out of a requested 461 URLs.