Japan court tells Google to stop autocomplete words

Apr 16, 2013
A court in Japan has told Google it must de-link words in its autocomplete function to prevent the search engine suggesting criminal acts when users type one man's name.

A court in Japan has told Google it must de-link words in its autocomplete function to prevent the search engine suggesting criminal acts when users type one man's name.

The Monday ruling by was the first time a court in Japan has ordered the search giant to alter this aspect of its , said Hiroyuki Tomita, a representing the plaintiff.

The court also ordered the US-based company to pay 300,000 yen ($3,100) for the mental anguish experienced by the man, whose identity has been withheld.

The plaintiff claimed that when users begin typing his name, the search engine automatically suggests what they might be looking for.

Clicking through these results takes users to websites that defame the unidentified man, his case said.

Because Google's search functions are not based in Japan, the Japanese court cannot compel it to make the change. Google told local media it was studying the ruling.

Last year, the same court approved a petition by the same man to have his name delinked from autocomplete suggestions, and issued a temporary injunction, which did not follow.

This week's ruling is permanent—although it can be appealed—and is attached to a defamation case that attracts damages.

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User comments : 2

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QuixoteJ
1 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2013
Pure awesomeness. I hate autocomplete. Japan just became my favorite foreign country.
Lurker2358
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 16, 2013
Just curious, but who would name their child as a word related to criminal actions?

Does his name mean something like "baby fucker" or "rapist" or some stupidity?

Isn't it his parents' fault for giving him a stupid name?!