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Tuesday, 27th March 2012
In General Japan News,

Japan court orders Google to remove autocomplete

A Japanese court has ordered internet giant Google to change the autocomplete function on its search and web browser software after a man objected that it breached his privacy.

An unnamed man issued court proceedings against Google claiming that typing his name into its search bars automatically directed people to content that suggested he had committed crimes.

Lawyer Hiroyuki Tomita argued that it had significant repercussions on his client's reputation and made it difficult for him to find work.

"A Japanese court issued a provisional order requesting Google to delete specific terms from autocomplete," a spokesman for the company said in a statement.

"The judge did not require Google to completely suspend the autocomplete function."

Mr Tomita said that autocomplete was problematic as it directed users to potentially false or misleading information, as in the case of his client.

However, Google defended its service, saying that the results from autocomplete are generated by its algorithms rather than by individuals.

Autocomplete works by predicting the search terms a user may be about to enter based on the letters already typed, their previous search history and other users' queries.

Written by Susan Ballion

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