Italian verdict on Google privacy sets dangerous precedent

An Italian court has convicted three former Google executives of violations to Italy's privacy code early Wednesday morning. The decision comes after months of back and forth on the case, all of which began with a video uploaded by some delinquent teenagers of themselves beating on a classmate with Down Syndrome. Though the judge in the case absolved the executives of defamation charges (and a fourth was found not guilty of all charges), the verdict is shocking and is likely to have serious repercussions for sites that host user-generated content in Italy.

I know nothing about Italian law, but I suppose that even there it is uncommon for company employees, let alone executives, to be held responsible for the way that a company's products are used. My only guess is that some people don't understand that when a video is uploaded to Google (or any other similar service) it is not reviewed by humans before it is made available. Only when complaints or legal notices are issued do humans become involved.

I also don't see why these specific executives were held accountable. What prevents them from charging every Google employee associated with the video product? Taking things to this logical extreme certainly highlights what is wrong with the charges and judgement issued by the Italian legal system.

via Ars Technica