NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Carla Franklin wants a court to force YouTube and its owner Google to unmask a cyber cipher who posted what she says are unauthorized videos of her and online comments that hurt her reputation.
The former model and actress turned businesswoman said in a legal petition filed Monday that she believes a Google user or users impugned her sexual mores in comments made under pseudonyms on a Columbia Business School website.
Franklin says someone also posted unauthorized YouTube clips of her appearing in a small-budget independent movie.
Google Inc. said in a statement that it doesn't discuss individual cases to protect users' privacy, but it follows applicable laws.
The postings caused Franklin "personal humiliation" and hurt her professional prospects as she was job-hunting after graduating from the Ivy League business school in 2009, her legal papers say.
The video clips were innocuous but unauthorized, and she found it creepy that someone had unearthed the film and posted pieces in an apparent effort to make her uncomfortable, her lawyer, David M. Fish, said Tuesday.
Anonymity is a cherished and staunchly defended refuge for many Internet users. But a growing number of people and businesses have tried to force blogs, websites and other online entities to disclose who's trashing them, and some have succeeded.
In one case that grabbed headlines, Vogue cover model Liskula Cohen successfully sued Google in a state court in Manhattan last year to get the name of a blogger who had published comments about Cohen's hygiene and sexual habits. The blogger, ultimately identified by court order as Rosemary Port, said her privacy was violated, and she had a right to her opinions.
Franklin believes she knows who posted the material about her but wants to be certain before publicly naming names, her lawyer said.
Now working for a consulting firm that advises nonprofit organizations, "she really just wants this exposed, done, so that whoever's doing it will never do it again," Fish said. "She really doesn't want any of this negative stuff following her."