Italy’s High Court Upholds Acquittal Of Google Executives In Video Privacy Case

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On December 17, Italy’s highest court, the Italian Supreme Court of Cassation, issued a landmark ruling upholding the acquittal of three Google senior executives by the Milan Court of Appeals. Initially, an Italian trial court convicted the executives of criminal violations of Italy’s privacy laws for allegedly allowing a controversial video to be uploaded to the precursor to YouTube by a user of the service without first screening the video. The Milan Court of Appeals rejected prosecutors’ contention that the company should be responsible for prescreening user-provided content, and agreed with the executives that requiring prescreening for such content would not only infringe on users’ freedom of expression, but would undermine websites’ functionality. The Court of Cassation will issue a written statement of its reasoning early next year. BuckleySandler attorneys Samuel Buffone and Ann Wiles represented two of the three Google executives.