Japanese Man Sues Google for Autocomplete Feature

Once again, the internet giant – Google – is facing a lawsuit, but not against a company or another search engine but a Japanese man claiming to be defamed by the search engine.

A Japanese found out that if he searched his name into Google search engine, a lot more than 10,000 various suggestions appeared because of this autocomplete feature. This feature is apparently connecting his identify to illegal and criminal acts. He contacted Google regarding this matter but the internet giant declined to his request to remove many of these autocomplete suggestions, the Japanses man decided to seek out a court injunction against Google in Japan.

The Tokyo District Court accepted his request a week ago in which ordered Google to delete a number of words from the autocomplete feature, based on a Kyodo News story released on the Japan Times Site.

Seemingly, the Japanses man – who cannot be named publicly – discovered that the autocomplete function was damaging his identity when he lost his job unexpectedly a few years ago, then was consistently rejected for new jobs, according to Kyodo News.

“This [autocomplete feature] can lead to irretrievable damage, such as job loss or bankruptcy, just by displaying search results that constitute defamation or violation of the privacy of an individual person or small and medium-size companies,” according to the Japanese’s attorney Hiroyuki Tomita.

Before filing the case, the man contacted first Google but the search engine company rejected his request to remove certain terms and told him that the suggested phrases were inserted and saved mechanically and there was no single intention of slandering his name, a report from Kyodo News.

This autocomplete feature was actually designed to help users get access to more relevant results quickly by showing the most popular phrases.