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First, he had to deal with the death of his 14-year-old son, who was found shot to death four years ago next to railroad tracks in Richmond, Calif.
Now, Jose Barrera said he is reliving that pain after he learned there was a Google Maps image of his son’s lifeless body making its way across the Internet.
“When I see this image, that's still like that happened yesterday, really fresh,” Barrera told Bay Area TV station KTVU. “And that brings me back to a lot of memories.”
Barrera is now demanding that Google take down the 2009 image, which shows police officers milling about in a barren, dirt road, Kevin’s body clearly visible next to the train tracks.
Google Maps lets viewers see three-dimensional images of locations all over the world – but Barrera seems to be suggesting that keeping the image available on the Internet is an invasion of privacy.
He told the TV station he’s planning to file a complaint and reach out to lawmakers for help. His mission, he told the station, is to catch the people responsible for his son’s killing and have Google remove the images.
“What’s the point, so people can see pictures of my dead son?” he told the station. “It’s been really painful for the family.”
Technology experts told KTVU that it is extremely rare for Google to take down images based on privacy concerns – so Barrera’s complaint likely won’t prevail.
“When they remove it for one person for one thing, then how do they not do it for others?” technology analyst Rob Enderle told the station. “And so they've found it easier just to say no.”
Google did not comment on the matter.
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