A Japanese court recently ordered the world’s most popular search engine, Google, to actually censor terms that show up in autocomplete which relate to a particular person. The ruling by the Tokyo District Court also actually asked Google to award the unknown person 300,000 yen (when converted, it is roughly $3,100) for the “mental anguish” suffered, no thanks to the association of said person alongside different criminal acts that was found in autocomplete-derived searches.
Lawyer Hiroyuki Tomita represented the unnamed plaintiff, and according to the Economic Times, claimed that Google users who typed his name into the search box did let the autocomplete function point out a fair number of criminal acts associated with his name as the additional search terms. Obviously, checking out the results of these extended search strings would result in more heartache for the man involved. Apparently, the “victim” was said to have lost his job because of the autocomplete fiasco, although we do think that a company would have other grounds to dismiss him other than to fall back on search results on Google. What do you think?
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