back to article Street View catches Finn with his pants down

The Finnish authorities have launched an enquiry into what they consider a serious breach of privacy on Street View, after a snooping spymobile captured a chap wearing less clothes than is advisable when Google comes a-calling. The trail begins at this house, at Maakaarentie 14, in Raahe. Behind that wooden fence is someone …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Total disrespect of privacy

    And by weird co-incidident, Google is building a huge serverfarm here in Finland.

    When they have property here, they are in serious trouble if (and quite obviously when) they are found guilty.

    Taking photographs from other people in their homes (or yards) is a serious offense here and Google not bothering to check pictures while taking those is yet another example of Googles all-pervasive arrogance and disrespect of privacy of others.

    They are even worse than MS nowadays and that's _bad_.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      indecent exposure

      Now I am not up to date on Finnish laws but isn't it illegal to be stripping naked in the front yard of your house where anyone on the street can see you?

      Everyone has a right to privacy but equally we have a right not to see what he is selling.

      Beer, I drink to forget.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @oliver 8

        repeat after me...

        The googlespycam is not at average eye level it is on top of bloody big pole on the top of a car.

        what you can see from up there is not what you see walking down the road.

        when you pick your hedge or fence for your garden you don't think "I wonder how tall it needs to be in case a man walks down the street"....

        1. Mr Grumblefish

          Double deckers

          Do they have double decker buses in Finland? Or very tall photographers?

      2. Pablo
        Thumb Down

        No it isn't

        He's clearly behind a fence. Presumably it's tall enough that passer's-by can't normally see in. Google's streetview camera is mounted much higher than eye-level (I checked the view of my own neighborhood to confirm this). I admit I'm no expert on Finnish law either, but in the US the general rule is that you have an expectation of privacy if you can't be seen by a person on the sidewalk.

      3. Anonymous Coward

        Anyone from the street can't see you

        You might have noticed that there's a fence in front of the yard, in most countries these are used to guard against people seeing you from the street.

        As you have noticed, they do not guard against a camera mounted on top of a tripod mounted on the top of a car.

        Nor should they need to.

      4. Anonymous Coward


        Big Brother IS watching you, and oliver 8 seems to think there are no issues with this. Oliver, please take some photos of your garden and while you are at it why not innovate / give google a new product idea and also take some photos inside your house, and then upload them all for us to see. Just please don't take your pants down, you might be breaking the law, even in your own house...especially now that we can see in to your house we would be offended and we'd call the police and have you arrested.

        WTF is this world coming to??!!

      5. umacf24

        Ten foot pole

        legal or not -- and I know as little about finnish law as you, I reckon that if the only way you can be seen is with a camera mounted on top of a ten foot pole, you are taking as much care to be private as anyone ever needs to....

        -- Peeping Tom

      6. Raumkraut


        If you look at the pictures, there is actually a fence between the garden and the road. The problem which I see is that the cameras on the google pervcars are positioned considerably higher than most peoples' eye-level. They got into trouble for this same thing in Japan, and had to re-shoot large amounts with the cameras at a reduced height, so as not to peek over peoples' walls.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Down

        No way

        Unless Finnish laws are totally screwed up, he has a reasonable expectation of privacy on account of being behind a reasonably tall fence. Raising a camera into the air and taking pictures across said fence would then be invasion of privacy and probably not a smart thing to do.

      8. The Indomitable Gall

        Height of the average Finn?

        Oliver 8,

        I think you're failing to consider the presence of the fence in the photo, and the height at which the camera is mounted on the Googlecar.

        This bloke was on his own property and not visible to passers-by.

        He should be OK.

      9. Trygve

        quite possibly not...

        I am not up to speed on Finnish law either, but there are actually some countries in the world that do not follow the US/Saudi "arrest everyone for being naked under their clothes" approach to the human body.

        It's not completely beyond the realms of possibility that in Finland one might be able to walk around naked on one's own property without having the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stormtroopers kicking down the door.

  2. Mike 119


    I might regret asking this, but what was he doing?

    1. Anonymous Coward


      Tanning his legs?

    2. Big Pete

      my guess is ...

      he was just about to, or had just finished, cracking one off.

    3. Tim Schomer

      Looks like

      he's about to crack one off, judging by his position.

    4. foo_bar_baz

      Catching sun

      The best suggestion so far was from my colleague, who figured the guy probably has psoriasis and was getting some light treatment for his skin problem. There seem to be pink patches on his shins to support that theory.

      It would also explain why he'd be half naked in what I assume was cold weather. It's probably early spring time in the pictures as there are no leaves in the birch trees and there are some patches of snow further down the road, and the bright cloudless sky suggests it was barely above freezing.

      If that's the case I feel very sorry for him.

  3. ratfox


    In the US, the guy would ask for millions and millions of dollars...

  4. Blake St. Claire


    Are we really supposed to believe that he wasn't out there intentionally, just to catch Google with both his and their pants down?

    If he's for real, I'd say he's By My Lady lucky they didn't catch him with his hand in his, ahem, lap.

    Are there no children in the neighboring flats that could come running around the fence and catch him en flagrante?

    Perhaps that's why the police paid him a visit? Because I can't imagine the police around here being bothered to pay someone a visit for something like this.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Google = Evil

      actually they would be obligated to do so. A crime has been commited against that man, and he has the right to make a criminal complaint against google. If they shop and posted naked pics of you, wouldn't you?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah, yes, many's the time I've had to yell at the neighbours

    for peeping on my trying to to tan my cock

  6. h 6


    What, was he taking the piss?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Strong bladder

      He might have been taking a piss.

      Making a bit of a game of it, from where that buckets positioned.

  7. h 6


    Additionally, no matter WHY he was sitting in his back yard with his pants down, the fact that a road goes right behind his house and across the field is an apartment complex shows he had no expectation of privacy. If he were inside with eh blinds closed, expectation of privacy. Sitting on a swing pantless in your back ground with no privacy fence AND in clear view of a public street equals no expectation of privacy.

    So some chap taking a walk sees him and snaps a pic. That is not a violation of privacy. Putting such pic on-line, while a bit rude, is not illegal either. Does it matter of it's a car with a camera on top rather than a pedestrian and compact digicam?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Dick 2

      Of course it matters, the camera was hoisted so high it can see over the wall.

      If some passerby propped a ladder against the fence, climbed up for a nosey peek, and a police car was passing by at the time, you know they would have words to say to him, may be worse.

      So what gives Google the right to do it? No right really, but dicks who think that Google is cool and can do no evil obviously do not have a clue, neither do they value freedom and privacy and are more than happy to be caught on CCTV 300 times a day in the UK.

    2. Phil 54


      on which country you're in!

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Try again

      "h 6", snapping a pic *is* a violation of privacy and illegal. Perhaps you should read up on Finnish law before spouting your idiocy.

      Just because the Brits (or the Americans) don't value their privacy enough to enforce it in any way doesn't mean that the rest of the world is required to follow your example.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      the googlecam car

      has the camera mounted higher than average eye-level by a good foot or so. So it's more like someone walking past his fence with a camera *on a stick*

  8. Paul_Murphy

    Obviously he thought he was in a private area.

    After all he was behind a 6 or 7 foot wall/windbreak thing.

    Bad google - no cookie.


  9. NukEvil


    I have a swing just like that in my backyard!

    Except it's creme-colored...

    1. Peregrine
      Jobs Horns

      Free decorations

      As opposed to his which is green with brown stripes?

      Steve... since he's a brown stripe as well. I will never forget what you did to my IIc+ Steve.

  10. Chris Seiter

    getting ready...

    I think he was just getting ready for a mid-afternoon tryst with that sessy looking table.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Looks like somebody

    ..has prepared early for using "flash" at his iPad.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    What's it come to when a bloke can't top up his vitamin D levels in the seclusion of his own back yard?

  13. Simon C

    now the suit is due...

    i would give serious monopoly money for the prosecutors to start the proceedings with

    "members of the jury, we wish to defend your right, should you so hang out...with your wang out.........."

    1. ThaRobster
      Thumb Up


      "....or indeed, if you'd prefer, to rock out.....with your cock out...."

  14. Youngone Silver badge

    Answers on a Postcard please

    What I want to know is: What the hell is he doing? Taking a dump on his outdoor furniture? Will someone please enlighten me.

  15. BernardBrezlow

    Another reason

    Not to shit in your own back yard


    1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

      Re own backyard

      What makes you think that this is his backyard?

      1. Witty username

        Re: own backyard

        what makes you think it isnt?

  16. S Larti
    Paris Hilton

    Where's the Paris angle?

    Otherwise I think that's quite enough about the one-eyed Google snake!

  17. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Tanning the todger

    And why not ?

    Though I do note that the fences between the houses don't stretch all the way to the substantial frontage fencing obviously designed to keep prying eyes out. That could be more than bargained for by a neighbour who pops round to blag a cuppa.

    It's interesting to see the authorities' reaction - Get caught doing the same in Blighty and it's probably a sex register offence.

  18. neb
    Thumb Up



  19. Prof

    Obviously, Scandinavians and Street-View do not mix,10.73882&sspn=0.000449,0.001635&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Rugdeveien+39,+5097+Bergen,+Hordaland,+Norway&t=h&layer=c&ll=60.360883,5.369267&spn=0.000824,0.002261&z=19&cbll=60.360884,5.369468&panoid=vIlVwLm8kDoxekaRJ0MwdQ&cbp=12,286.53,,0,14.63

    I don't know what this is but I love it

    1. Mark Aggleton


      It looks like a right dodgy area

    2. Anonymous Coward

      I think it's obvious

      The flood waters receded much faster than they expected.

    3. Andy ORourke


      Was reported in the Register the other day, highly amusing :-)

    4. Tim Schomer


      No Idea, anyone else want to try and explain it?

  20. Anonymous Coward

    Google goolie's with the new street porn

    I have to laugh as you know some poor sod will now have to teach some automated censoring software a aspect of visual imagery that will prove to be some colourful work for the software testers in Google goolie land. Still more proof of Global Cooling^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Warming^h^h^h^h^h^h^h Change^h^h^h^h^h^h Shift; So google can be forgiven for being human.

    In further news "I semi-naked man is seen in `Europe`", Oh what a revelation that must be outside Europe :).

  21. /\/\j17

    Second view now disabled

    Seems someone in the MVCF reads El Reg...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    I can see he was doing some sunbathing and expecting some privacy. The things to bear in mind is that the block of flats which he can see are behind trees, plus he is behind a bush and a fence so the angle of view from the flats means he is probably hidden. HOWEVER, Google's camera on a car is stuck up about 3m so can look over his fence, plus they can view him from an angle which flat owners cannot see from. The main problem is Google has a very high camera which can see over normal height fences - which is why in Japan they've been forced to use a more normal height.

    Paris 'cause she needs some voyeuring.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blimey, give your nads an airing

    and the world's turned into a peeping tom. Those cameras are up quite high on the cars, so it maybe he had privacy unless some pops up the telescope.

    I do wish Google would stop with this bollocks, no one really wants to see a bunch of people who didn't want to be photographed splashed across the web.

    They should drive round at night, and use a night cam with some daylight filter, because then you can see the landmarks, which are useful.

  24. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Finnish Todger View

    Now available on Google! [beta]

  25. ShaggyDoggy

    @ oliver 8

    He was behind a 7 foot fence - the camera is on a pole on a car.

    Kids aren't.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Oh I miss the days

    when a man can have a quiet wank in his garden without....

    /cough, I mean what a disgrace.

  27. TeeCee Gold badge

    "....a less compromising pose..."

    Ok, I'm intrigued. Exactly how is being immortalised on teh intawebs in a rampant display of onanistic love less compromising than being seen just sitting there with yer meat 'n two veg out on the counter?

  28. Halo

    Let me know your number, clearly you are up for it

    While it may seem stange to some, being naked is not strange in finland. I remember going there to see my cousin, met him and about 6-8 other men (his parents and women, GFs, Wifes as well), we had a few drinks and they were polite to start with before we got into things, im black, or as is no longer PC halfjack, anyway them not having met a black and having low opinion of british men and most non nordic men they wanted to see if I really had finnish blood, so we went to the sauna and got naked, 8-10 of us and id diiddnr, in finland it would be rude not to ask another person to join you in a sauna. So finns are used to seeing naked people.

    In finland being naked is not a big deal. In finland you have the right to walk in your house naked and sit in your backyard naked because it's your house, you own it and you can damm well sit were you like.

    If someone wants to take a picture of you they damm well ask, if they don,t then at the least that it rude and if you are sitting in your land it's an invasion of your privacy. Walking past and seeing someone naked is one thing but if you take a picture, that is a deliberate act. GooGle is saying we have the right to put cameras around your house 24/7 and film you, that the issue for you dicks that think it is about a person not being dressed in a way you would aprove of.

    and thats the reason why the finns think it is important.

  29. Andus McCoatover

    Bit worrying.

    This was obviously taken (at a guess) Midsummer 2008. As Raahe's only 80Km (50 miles) south from where I live, and we've a metre of snow, -15 as I write, I definitely wouldn't get my 'nads out today.

    Which means they've had plenty of time to get more pics. But, now it's been in my city.

    Oh, living here, I've seen worse. Much worse. This is by no means particularly unusual. (e.g, middle of the city, couple 'making bacon' on the town hall grass - people just sniggered, and moved on. I didn't see anyone take a single photo in the 20 minutes I was there).

    1. Jack Garnham

      @Andus McCoatover

      You were stood watching them for 20 minutes? Dirty git.

      1. Andus McCoatover

        20 Minutes? Research, natch.

        With the privacy laws in Finland concerning photography, I was making sure no-one nearby snapped one off. Well, citizens' duty. Aint it? ;-)

        (T'is Friday, and we're all having a beer or two to the BOFH's untimely demise. Plus, crying our eyes out that the PFY's got hold of the Sacred Keyboard).

  30. Bilgepipe


    Is that a child on the seat next to him in the second picture?

    1. Andus McCoatover

      I wondered that at first, too

      But, no it's not. Just a white deckchair with a bit of background behind it (Maybe a sauna jacket - but like a bathrobe)

  31. Count Ludwig
    Big Brother

    @Bit Worrying @Erm...

    @Bit Worrying

    20 mins - that's nothing - I've watched Finns at it in Public it for nearly an hour - which coincidentally is how long it took me to casually do up my shoelaces.


    I think it's an optical illusion - back and arm of the white plastic chair next to him, plus something behind the swing seat. But that would still make the picture an offence in UK - as a depiction of child abuse.

  32. archengel46
    Thumb Up

    How do you??

    Imprison Google for 1 year? :O

    Maybe the Chinese and the Iranians will be happier then.

  33. Unus Radix

    My interpretation of Finnish law

    The Finnish law actually provides stronger protection than that of being entitled to privacy under an expectation thereof: as long as one is inside one's home or even in the immediately surrounding area it is a criminal offense to make a record of one with a "technical apparatus" (in practice, a camera). Fines and imprisonment up to 1 yr are in store for offenders. Prison, obviously, can only be applied to the person(s) responsible, but I see no reason for this not percolating up in the chain of command as having someone commit a criminal act for you is equivalent of committing it yourself.

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