Google’s auto-complete function has been around on the company’s search tool, since a while now, but it may now have to be discontinued following a complaint. Reportedly, a court in Japan has asked Google to do away with their auto-complete function on Google Search, since it has been harming a user’s online reputation. Times of India now reports that a Tokyo District court has agreed to a petition filed by a certain user, who’s stating that typing his name on Google search has been throwing up search suggestions, which link him to crimes he has no role in, thereby harming his online reputation. He added that if someone happened to click on any of those links, then it would put up search suggestions that would depict his client is a bad light. The petitioner’s lawyer, Hiroyuki Tomita was quoted as saying that the turn of events, over the past few years has been affecting his client so much, that he has been finding it difficult to find an employment for himself, since his online reputation is now being questioned. 

Google Raiders

Auto-complete to go off?

Chances of the plaintiff’s name being quite similar to that of an existing criminal are quite high, Google, for now, however has responded saying that the search suggestions were put together automatically, and therefore did not breach on the complainant’s privacy. The report further adds that a Tokyo District Court, although had approved the petition on March 19th, it has failed to induce any action from Google’s end, with the latter stating that the Japanese law does not apply to their U.S headquarters and their own corporate privacy policy. Although the complainant’s next moves are fairly unknown at this point, it is being speculated that he may resort to seeking financial damages to get Google to delete the suggested links. 

Google’s auto-complete function, as aforementioned has been a very popular and now very a common feature on search, enabling users to search quickly, often without having to type in entire queries . The tool often relies on the keywords, which users may have previously typed in to induce a search. 

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