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Woman sues Yahoo for publishing nude photos

From the Times Online:
A woman is suing Yahoo! for $3 million (£1.6 million), alleging that the web portal, content and search-engine company has failed to remove naked pictures of her posted by her former boyfriend.

In a lawsuit filed in Oregon, Cecilia Barnes, 48, claims that her former boyfriend began posting naked pictures of her in Yahoo! profiles, with her e-mail address and work telephone number, in December. She says that the photographs were taken without her knowledge.

The lawsuit says that the former boyfriend posed as Ms Barnes in online discussions in Yahoo! chat rooms and directed men to the profiles. She says that she learnt about the postings when men began contacting her at work.

“Due to these profiles and online chats, unknown men would arrive without warning at the plaintiff’s work expecting to engage in sexual relations with her,” the lawsuit states.

Ms Barnes says that she sent a letter to Yahoo! in January, saying that she did not create the profiles and asking for them to be removed. She claims that Yahoo! did not respond to the letter and failed to remove the photographs.

Additional attempts to get Yahoo! to remove the profiles in February and March also failed, the lawsuit claims.

Key to Ms Barnes’s case, however, is a spoken promise that she says she received from a Yahoo! spokeswoman in late March. Ms Barnes says that Mary Osako, Yahoo!’s director of communications, told her that the profiles would be removed, but the pictures are still there.

Under US law, internet companies are broadly protected from being sued over information that is published by third parties, so Ms Barnes’s lawyer says that she has pursued a breach of promise claim instead.

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