Japan Court to Google: Switch Off AutoComplete

Man complained that results ruined his life
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2012 1:34 AM CDT
Updated Mar 27, 2012 4:45 AM CDT
"Google does not determine these terms manually," the company says. "All of the queries shown in Autocomplete have been typed previously by other Google users.   (Google)

(Newser) – A Japanese court has ruled in favor of a man who blames Google's autocomplete search function for his failure to find a job. The court ordered the search engine to switch off the feature for the man's name after hearing that when it was typed in, results connecting the man to crimes he didn't commit were automatically suggested, PC World reports. The man's lawyer argued that the function was violating his client's privacy.

Google, which argued that since the results are generated automatically, the function does not constitute a violation of privacy, says it is reviewing the court order. The court appears to have mistakenly believed that Google itself was directly suggesting the search results, writes Mike Masnick at TechDirt, noting that the man who complained about the feature has withheld his name—releasing it would have resulted in stories about how he's not a criminal rising to the top of results.

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