Japanese court rules Google search autocomplete is libellous

google autocomplete Japanese court rules Google search autocomplete is libellous

A Japanese court has ruled that the autocomplete feature of Google's search engine is libellous and that the search giant must remove terms linking a man with alleged criminal activity.

A Japanese court has ruled that the autocomplete feature of Google's search engine is libellous and that the search giant must remove terms linking a man with alleged criminal activity.

 
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, brought the case to the Tokyo District Court after discovering that entering his name in the search engine resulted in suggested searches associating him with crimes he did not commit.
 
The court ruled in favour of the man in the defamation case, asking Google to pay 300,000 yen (roughly $3,000) in compensation. It also ordered the company to de-link the search terms that libel the man.
 
google autocomplete Japanese court rules Google search autocomplete is libellous
 
However, the court has little power to compel Google to abide by the ruling, because it is a US company and thus outside Japan's legal jurisdiction. In 2012 the court granted a temporary injunction against Google in the same case, but the search giant ignored it.
 
Google said it is now reviewing the ruling, but its previous non-compliance suggests it may simply keep the autocomplete feature intact. In other defamation litigation relating to this feature Google said that the terms suggested were there because of user searches, not planted by Google, and that this is a basic element of the search algorithm it uses. However, that will be little comfort to those whose reputation is being damaged.
 
Source: The Telegraph