Google's unofficial motto is reportedly "Don't be evil," but a Japanese man believes otherwise and has convinced a judge to order the search engine to turn off its autocomplete feature for his name.
A Japanese court ordered the search engine switch-off after hearing that, when the man's name was typed in, the results automatically connected crimes that he didn't commit, Newser reported.
According to the man's lawyer, Hiroyuki Tomita, his client, whose name has not been made public, "decided to seek a court injunction after learning the autocomplete feature likely played a role in the sudden loss of his job several years ago and caused several companies to subsequently reject him when he applied for new jobs," the Japan Times reported.
The Tokyo District Court granted the Internet injunction against Google on March 19, but the search engine is currently revewing the court order, which, according to SearchEngineWatch.com, would force Google's U.S.-based operations to obey the Japanese court of law.
The man asked Google to delete certain words last October, but Tomita said the company rejected the request. The suggested words were being selected mechanically, not intentionally, Google claimed, and do not violate his privacy, ABC News reported.
This isn't the first time that Google Autocomplete has come under fire.
In January of this year, a French court ordered Google to pay a $65,000 fine and remove the word "escroc" (crook) as an Autocomplete suggestion for the name of the plaintiff in another case, SearchEngineWatch.com reported, adding that Google and then-CEO Eric Schmidt were found guilty of defamation in Paris after Google Suggest (the former name of Google Autocomplete) suggested search terms including "rapist" and "satanist" for queries conducted on one plaintiff's name.
Whether the Japanese court is able to force an American company to adhere to Japanese laws remains to be seen, but Buzz60 correspondent Patrick Jones believes the plaintiff may have a point.
"Some of the Google search autocompletes are just downright weird," Jones said. "Like 'Bacon is a little hug from God'; 'Glitter is the herpes of art supplies'; and, my favorite, 'Oh God! I left the baby on the boss!'"
"Why are you typing that on Google?" he said. "Call the police!"
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