ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- As many as 40 St. Louis area women had photos of their breasts put online with their names readily available to anyone who searched. And the problem is much larger nationwide.
That’s according to Neil Bruntrager who represents 8 women suing Doctor Michele Koo of Kirkwood. Two other women have also joined the lawsuit against Dr. Koo and MedNet Technologies Inc., the Long Island, NY online marketing company that Dr. Koo says is at fault. MedNet points the finger at Dr. Koo’s office.
Attorney Jonathan Ries says Koo had no intention of linking pictures and names. But MedNet blames Koo, saying it did not post, control or influence the content of the website.
At issue are before and after photos the women took showing the breast augmentation results. They had agreed to have the photos used, but did not agree to have their names associated. Bruntrager has been working on the case for over a year. He discovered the issue was with the code used to post the photos online.
Many plastic surgeons use before and after photos to sell their work. On the doctor’s websites and marketing websites the names are not posted with the photos. The problem is when a patient’s name is used in the code that puts the photo online. When that happens the name is associated with that photo in online searches like Google Images. So if you typed in Jane Doe and her name was associated with the code for the online photo, you would find her naked pictures. In some cases as you scroll over the photo in the online search the name shows up. Many companies do it right and don’t use the name in the initial online code.
It serves as a warning and reminder to everyone.
“You’ve got to search your name every now and then,” said Bruntrager. “Most people say, ‘Gee I’m not that self-absorbed.’ But the truth is the internet it is so invasive now in everything.”
Bruntrager says after a News 4 story in September 2011 on the issue he has been contacted by people across the country about the same issue.
“We’ve got them literally from Nashua, New Hampshire to San Diego, California,” said Bruntrager.
News 4 was unsuccessful in reaching Dr. Koo for comment.