Google Autocomplete Search – Not Always Nice!

Google Autocomplete Search Not Always Nice!

The Tokyo District Court approved a petition demanding that Google Inc. suspend its autocomplete search feature for Internet browsers after a man alleged that it breached his privacy and got him fired, his lawyer said Sunday.

Google is refusing to suspend the feature, saying that its headquarters in the United States will not be regulated by Japanese law and that the case does not warrant deleting the autocomplete suggestions related to the petition under its in-house privacy policy, lawyer Hiroyuki Tomita said.

The case, which was adjudicated on March 19, is believed to be the first to order the suspension of the Web search feature, which attempts to instantly anticipate and list the words or phrases a person will type into a browser’s search box, Tomita said.

The man, whose name was withheld, decided to seek a court injunction after learning the autocomplete feature likely played a role when he suddenly lost his job several years ago and caused several companies to subsequently reject him when he applied for new jobs, Tomita said.

The man discovered that when people type his name into Google’s search engine, words suggesting criminal acts, which he is unfamiliar with, appear. If the computer-suggested words are selected, more than 10,000 items defaming or disparaging him show up in a list, Tomita said.

via Google ordered to suspend autocomplete function over cyber-harassment | The Japan Times Online.