Milan – An Italian court has
convicted three Google (NASD: GOOG) executives of violating the privacy of a child with Down’s
syndrome, after a video of the child being bullied in a Turin schoolyard was posted to the company’s
YouTube video site. The executives were acquitted on charges of defamation, but
received six-month suspended sentences on the privacy violation charges.
said in a statement on its blog that it will appeal "this astonishing
decision," which the company said "attacks the very principles of
freedom on which the Internet is built."
Google called the video in
question "reprehensible," and maintains that it "took it down
within hours of being notified by the Italian police."
The company added
that it worked with local police to identify the uploader who, along with
several other classmates, was sentenced to community service.
None of the Google executives convicted —
senior vice president and chief legal officer
David Drummond; former Google Italy
board member George De Los Reyes; and global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer — reside in Italy or were present at the court proceedings.
(Google blog post)