Business, Technology Security

Google has to pay 500,000 USD to F1 star Rubens Barrichello


There are several Formula One drivers that openly admitted their geekness and addiction to technology. For instance, Jacques Villeneuve, 1996 World Champion often spoke of his love for PC gaming and was the first person I saw playing PC games while connected to a big plasma screen back in 1997.

When it comes to Rubens Barrichello, the F1 driver with most starts, multiple Vice-Champion and former driver of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Brawn Mercedes [to join AT&T Williams-Cosworth in 2010], this charismatic Paulista is a big fan of Twitter. But back in 2006, Rubens was forced to launch a lawsuit after Google-owned Orkut social network service refused to shut down fake profiles and refused him from opening the one under his real name [originally, Rubinho was denied an account].

The case finally came to conclusion earlier today, with court ordering Google to pay 500,000 USD in damages and to shut down 300 fake profiles on Orkut. The court decided that Orkut’s owner was responsible because Orkut had mismanaged their own terms of service and allowed for continuous violations of their own ToS.

Rubens Barrichello on Orkut on November 10, 2009 - over 1000 fake profiles
November 10, 2009: Search results for "Rubens Barrichello" on Orkut reveal over 1000 fake profiles

The penalty is not final, since starting on Tuesday at 02:00AM GMT, there is a $590 daily fine for each fake profile. The damages awarded to Rubens may increase, but not go above $700,000. Given that there are over 1000 results, the fine is already increased to $700,000, given that Orkut did not remove the fake accounts. To make the matters worse, a fake profile is even above his real one, as you can see on the image above.

In any case, Rubens may have lost the 2009 World Championship to his teammate Jenson Button and second place to Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Renault, but Rubens just got additional 500,000 reasons to consider 2009 as a really good year.

In case you want to follow Rubens on Twitter, you can do so on