AFP reports a Japan court has ruled Google to alter the search suggestions and fined Google 300,000 yen ($3,100).
The Tokyo District Court ruled that Google has to change the auto-completions for a search on a particular man’s name – the name was undisclosed – because Google provided suggestions that the man committed criminal acts. In addition, Google was ordered to pay the man $3,100 for the mental anguish the search suggestion caused him.
What is interesting is that since Google does not operate the search results from within Japan, Google technically does not and historically has not, altered the results in Japan. This case is slightly different than the one earlier Japan ruling that Google ignored, in that this one has potential damages for defamation.
As I said above, this is not the first time Google has been in legal trouble over the feature. Japan courts ruled before on auto-complete. They also lost cases in France and in Italy over Autocomplete, and an Irish hotel has also sued Google over suggestions.
Here is a video from panel at SMX West on how Google handles search policy, such as these and tougher issues:
To learn more about the system, see our comprehensive article, How Google Instant’s Autocomplete Suggestions Work.
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