Japan orders Google to kill auto-complete terms

Japanese judges have come down hard on Google’s auto-complete search function.

According to the Japan Times, a Tokyo District Court has approved a petition requesting that Google stop using its auto-complete feature.

A man from the Land of the Rising Sun claims the feature breached his privacy and eventually led to the loss of his job. When typing in his name, Google’s auto-complete suggests words associated with criminal behaviour. If those suggested searches are clicked, you can find 10,000 results that disparage or defame him.

The man’s lawyer, Hiroyuki Tomita, told the paper that auto-complete can lead to job loss or bankruptcy, just by displaying search results that constitute defamation.

Google has been having a few problems with these sorts of cases. Last year when a British man was falsely accused of being a paedophile in a Google Places review the company had to pull it.

The search engine also had to give in to an Indian law directing internet companies to block religiously offensive information from searches. 

Google argued that as its company is based in the US, it should not be subject to Japanese laws.