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Google hit with $100mn lawsuit over 4chan leak of naked celebrity photos

Google has been threatened with a $100 million (£62 million) lawsuit over the infamous "fappening" leaks (there have been three now) of stolen nude celebrity photos, which first came to a head when the initial batch was posted up on 4chan just over a month ago.

Apparently more than 12 celebs who had naked pics spilled are being represented by LA lawyer Marty Singer, the Telegraph reports, who accused Google of "making millions from the victimisation of women".

More specifically, the allegation, delivered in a letter to Google which followed the third spillage in the fappening saga, is that the search giant failed to "act expeditiously, and responsibly to remove the images", and that it was "perpetuating the despicable conduct of these habitual pervert predators" (the hackers who obtained the photos and posted them on the net).

Singer noted that he had sent several warning notices on behalf of his clients to Google in previous weeks, asking for image removal, yet he states that some of the images can still be viewed on Google owned sites like YouTube. Singer also wants accounts suspended, and search engine results removed.

Related: Apple denies lax iCloud security is to blame for naked celebrity image leaks

Of course, policing the internet is not an easy task, or indeed even expansive sites like YouTube, and the big G has responded to say it moved quickly to down the images. A Google spokesperson said: "We've removed tens of thousands of pictures – within hours of the requests being made – and we have closed hundreds of accounts. The Internet is used for many good things. Stealing people's private photos is not one of them."

Indeed, rather than Google, Singer might be better off targeting his litigation cannon at Apple, whose iCloud service was actually the root source of the images. There would have been no fappening at all if the hackers hadn't been able to worm their way around iCloud security.

And perhaps the celebs ought to look a little closer to home when pinning blame. As we discussed in an earlier article, if you didn't already realise it, then this episode rather underlines the fact that it's not a good idea to be posting personal/naked photos (or any sensitive data) to a consumer cloud service.

Related: Emma Watson nude photos site actually a ploy to take down 4chan

Celebs who have (allegedly) been affected by the various photo leaks include Jennifer Lawrence, Kim Kardashian, Mary-Kate Olsen, Kate Upton, Vanessa Hudgens and Hayden Panettiere among many others.