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Google Ordered to Kill Autocomplete Results for One Man

Many people don't give Google's autocomplete feature the time of day. It's just something that's there all the time and is sometimes helpful, sometimes irrelevant. Still, not everyone is totally apathetic about autocomplete. Say, for example, it's putting something unfavorable on the screen when you're name is entered into Google?

One man in Japan experienced just that. According to ComputerWorld, this unnamed Japanese man recently went to the Tokyo District Court to demand that Google suspend the autocomplete feature because it was an invasion of his privacy. The man's lawyer says his client took action once he realized that autocomplete was filling in crimes when his name was entered.

Though the man insists he knows nothing about these crimes, his lawyer says it's likely that Google linked his name to these terms because of an inaccurate story that spread across various sites and was subsequently indexed by Google. The Japanese man says these autocomplete suggestions cost him his job several years ago and other companies that have rescinded job offers have said that the search results were a factor.

Google was ordered to comply the request to delete the offending autocomplete results associated with the man's name.

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  • amigafan
    Fair enough. But this should not be an exception. Google should react (positively) to all reasonable requests concerning breach of personal privacy. What bothers me is that this man had to get a lawyer and sue to get it sorted out.
    Reply
  • gilgamex101
    Small things like helping this guy out with an obvious google indexing mistake shouldn't be a chore. This guy probably ended up losing money too in lawyer fees and needless headaches from court dates that are just completely uneccessary when I'm sure it would take a google programmer less than an hour to deal with this. Not to mention a 0% impact on their revenue, which is the hissy fit starter of the last 100 years.

    Rediculous.
    Reply
  • in_the_loop
    amigafanFair enough. But this should not be an exception. Google should react (positively) to all reasonable requests concerning breach of personal privacy. What bothers me is that this man had to get a lawyer and sue to get it sorted out.
    Problem is that if this become common it would be impossible for google to handle all requests.
    I am seing a future where google is handling all sorts of requests for special treatment when it comes to search results.
    It would make it impossible for google to function as it is.
    Almost everything can be seen as a breach of personal privacy.
    I think there should be another way for people to judge information about a person on the web, like with WOT (Web of Trust).
    Google can not in any sense or way be answering all request like this if it goes on.
    The only other way out is to filter out google completely. Or just shut it down. And that is something a lot of companies like Apple, Facebook really would cheer!
    And these two companies are the really bad guys when it comes to fair play(Apple) and personal integrity(Facebook).
    Not to mention the MPAA and the likes.
    And I wonder why Microsoft never is mentioned in cases like this. They have a small share of the search market with Bing. But it is the default search engine in a lot of scenarios (Internet explorer default and is some smartphones).
    Reply
  • fixxxer113
    That is beyond stupid.... His name?? really?? So if my name was Charles Manson, and I kept getting results about murders on Google, should I be offended?? Should I get my name "cleaned up" on Google and mess up legitimate searches other people make for research?? Unless he is the only person in the world with that name, there is no reason to alter search results...
    Reply
  • alidan
    fixxxer113That is beyond stupid.... His name?? really?? So if my name was Charles Manson, and I kept getting results about murders on Google, should I be offended?? Should I get my name "cleaned up" on Google and mess up legitimate searches other people make for research?? Unless he is the only person in the world with that name, there is no reason to alter search results...
    you dont understand how japan works. ill relate this to another practice they have.

    we have all seen their trains right, how crowed they get.
    some people take advantage of that and grope women
    the problem is so bad that they have women only carriages
    well now, if a woman says you did it, even without proof, you are taken into custody and berated till you confess.
    now this seams like a minor crime, toy could just have brushed them by accident, but you are guilty, your name gets put in papers and so forth.

    99% of the time, you lose your job and will never get a job at a company (white collar is the japanese holly grail) again, and the only work you can do is part time like work, or working manual labor (severely looked down on). and a good portion of people who get accused kill themselves because it would honestly be easier (the way their society works and the general mindset of never stick out, or be noticeable, they may not be wrong)

    this guy was most likely accused of gropeing on the train, something which is a false accusation most of the time, and got screwed because of it.
    Reply
  • wooodoggies
    wow strange situation
    Reply
  • eiskrystal
    Japanese businesses need to get their act together if they are firing employees for crimes not committed based on a dodgy websearch. Otherwise they will simply be sued into administration. Which is what this guy should have done as well.
    Reply
  • Lord Captivus
    "Though the man insists he knows nothing about these crimes, his lawyer says it's likely that Google linked his name to these terms because of an inaccurate story that spread across various sites and was subsequently indexed by Google. "
    Mmm....inaccurate?...mmm....that sounds like theres a chance this guy actually did something wrong...Mmmm....
    What if it is true? Can i sue Google when my co-worker is murdered by this guy, because Google deleted the info??
    Mmm....this could be a problem...maybe not for this guy...but for others...
    Reply
  • amigafan
    in_the_loopProblem is that if this become common it would be impossible for google to handle all requests.This also crossed my mind -- but it could be fully automated. For example whoever has a Google account in their name (gmail for example) Google could provide those users a limited possibility (options) to manage search results (and autocomplete if anything gets associated) which are directly concerning them (such as first and last name, address etc.).
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    It can't be helped if your name is Akira Pedophile, just bad luck
    Reply