A Japanese court on Monday ordered that Google turn off the company’s autocomplete feature for one single users results following a lawsuit in which a man says he was unable to find a job because of the feature.
According to the plaintiff when potential employers would start to type in his name several results would pop up as suggestions, all of which tied the man to a variety of crimes that he never committed.
The man’s lawyer argued in court that such autocomplete type results were a direct violation of his clients privacy.
Google during the court case argued that they did not violate the man’s privacy because the company’s auto complete feature is not handled by a human but rather auto generated based on the most likely results for every single search performed through the company’s database.
Ironically the Japanese man asked that his name be withheld, if he had allowed his name to be known new search results at the top of Google search would likely have shown potential employers that he is not in fact a criminal but has been the victim of crimes that are tied to his name.
Google often comes under fire by world powers who want the company to sensor its search results based on their own censorship laws, this is the first time however that we’ve seen a single user from outside the United States manage to successfully go after the search engines results pages.
Have you unfortunate search results placed against your own name via Google autocomplete?