“He discovered the existence of this photo after noticing that he had become an object of ridicule in his village,” lawyer Jean-Noel Bouillaud told AFP, asking for the name of the village not be published.
The slightly blurred photo, seen by AFP, shows an individual relieving himself in a garden in the village in the west-central Maine-et-Loire department.
“My client lives in a tiny hamlet where everyone recognized him,” said Bouillaud, adding that his client was on his own property and that the gate to his garden was closed at the time the photo was taken.
The man is suing Google in a court in the city of Angers for infringement of his privacy and of his right not to have his photo published without his accord.
As well as the removal of the photo from the internet, the man is also asking for compensation to the tune of 10,000 euros ($14,200).
“My client is not doing this for the money, he just wants his privacy to be respected,” said Bouillaud to Le Parisien.
Google’s lawyer, Christophe Bigot, said the lawsuit against his company was “implausible”, explaining that “Google has implemented a very simple mechanism that, with a few clicks, blurs the features of a person completely when it is deemed necessary,” wrote Le Parisien.
Street View allows users to take a ground level panoramic view of some locations on Google Maps, based on still photographs taken by specially equipped vehicles.
France’s data privacy regulator imposed a record fine of 100,000 euros ($142,000) on Google last March for collecting private information while compiling photos for the service.