Japan court orders Google to halt auto-complete function

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  • 6

    Ch1n4Sailor

    Google had refused to suspend the feature, stating that its headquarters was in the U.S. and would not be regulated by Japanese law.

    Here's your answer.

  • 4

    ogtob

    How about the court ordering that idiot to not believe everything he sees on the internet.

  • -8

    gonemad

    The poor chap seems to have a name similar to a known criminal. I feel for him, but I can't see what Google could do in this case. The problem is with the users (us all!), who carelessly use information in the net without checking it thoroughly.

    but Google has so far refused to take action, saying Japanese law does not apply to its U.S. headquarters and its own corporate privacy policy

    This statement is hilarious. Google does have a Japanese branch office and the domain google.co.jp is registered to that branch office. So clearly Japanese law applies. Google's own corporate privacy policy is simply irrelevant. Do they want to put themselves above the law?

  • 1

    Cletus

    You have goto be kidding me..... Maybe this nuff nuff shouldn't use the internet he obviously doesnt have the mental capacity for it.

    He obviously has a common name and someone else out there has been a bad bad boy. This isnt googles fault, its just one of those things. Why should the rest of us suffer because of this?

  • 0

    viking68

    Sounds like the first lawsuit should have been the former employer if in fact that was the reason for being fired.

    The other work-internet news is U.S. employers asking for facebook passwords. If an employer asked me for that kind of information, I would get up and walk out of the interview. If it was in the U.S., I may consider an EEOC law suit.

    Suggest employers use proper background checks and/or check references. There is too much reliance on the internet as the source of all knowledge. It can and does have bad information.

    Also, if you are relying on suggested search terms as your search result rather than checking the sources generated on a google search, then you should throw away your computer and cancel your internet service.

  • 0

    southsakai

    Just halt the auto complete for this chaps specific name. I need the auto complete man!

  • 2

    Ch1n4Sailor

    domain google.co.jp is registered to that branch office. So clearly Japanese law applies. Google's own corporate privacy policy is simply irrelevant. Do they want to put themselves above the law?

    So the Japanese Government not only OWNS ".co.jp?" But can regulate it...?

    Not quite... They no more own ".co.jp," than the U.S. Owns ".com" or ".us" for that matter.

    For the most part Internet Regulation is done through commerce, not domain.

  • 0

    Ch1n4Sailor

    The simple answer, if you don't like the auto-complete, Don't use it...

    That's also the probably the only reason Google would take it down, if businesses and consumers simply stop using google.

    That has about the best chance of getting them to take it down... The bottom line.

  • 0

    techall

    If you were to not use an auto-complete function and continued typing the name manually, you would get the same search results if the criminal had the same name.

  • 2

    Harry_Gatto

    I wonder how many people have now typed their own name into Google to see what comes up. I know I have as I haven't done it for a long time, no problems that I can see, I haven't gained a criminal record yet!

  • -2

    onnojagat

    How about the court ordering that idiot to not believe everything he sees on the internet.

  • 0

    Berryblue

    Isn't this something a user can switch off? If not, why not?

  • 3

    RowanM

    @onnojagat @ogtob The problem isn't that this man sees the autocomplete, but that OTHER PEOPLE see the autocomplete and associate those suggestions with him.

    @viking68 if you look closely, he never says he was fired because of this problem, but rather that he isn't getting hired.

    @berryblue @ch1n4sailor he's not the one with the problem. He would have to get anyone ELSE searching his name to turn the feature off.

    @techall the problem is that autocomplete doesn't just complete his name. The problem is that it completes his name with a related search about a crime. For example, if his name was Timothy McVeigh and someone starts typing Timothy McV..., then Autocomplete suggests "Timothy McVeigh conspiracy" and "Timothy McVeigh Oklahoma City bombing" as potential searches, rather than just finishing the name.

    @cletus Really? You're going to describe the possibility of not having Google's Autocomplete function as "suffer"ing? Wow.

    That being said, while it's unfortunate for him, I don't see how this is a privacy concern at all.

  • 0

    techall

    @RowanM

    If your name is not Timothy McVeigh then you have nothing to worry about just keep typing. If it is Timothy McVeigh then your still have the same problem (except the fact that Timothy McVeigh is dead). The auto-complete just gives suggestions. This guy should simply get a police record and submit it with his application showing that he has no connection with any criminal barring the same name His problem is with prospective employers, not Google.

  • -1

    gonemad

    So the Japanese Government not only OWNS ".co.jp?" But can regulate it...? Not quite... They no more own ".co.jp," than the U.S. Owns ".com" or ".us" for that matter.

    Contrary to .com, you cannot get a .co.jp address without owning a Japanese company. Not sure whether this is stipulated by law or whether it has only been set as a rule by JPRS, but that is not relevant for the discussion. The relevant point is that Google does have a Japanese subsidiary. If Google doesn't like to be subject to Japanese laws they have to close their offices in Japan like they did in China some years before.

  • 0

    NeoJamal

    Regulate the internet? HAHA they tried it with Kim Dot Com, and he got off on a technicality.

  • 0

    Berryblue

    That being said, while it's unfortunate for him, I don't see how this is a privacy concern at all.

    Yeah, it can only be a privacy concern if it brings up crimes he actually committed.

  • -1

    gonemad

    A lot of thumbs-down. For what? For stating facts which some of you don't like?

  • 0

    Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    @techall So, you recommend putting the onus of one's innocence on the individual? That sounds an awful lot like guilty until proven innocent, I think. It's true that much of the problem lies with those performing an internet search about a private individual. Employers should directly contact a prospective employee's references instead of relying on info gleaned off the oft-errant internet. Google, however, does have some role in this type of problem as it does invade individual privacy, whether a celebrity or a regular Joe.

  • 0

    techall

    @Herve Nmn L'Eisa

    Actually it's called mediation, if you know there might be a problem, you take steps to avoid it. I totally agree with the second part of your post regarding the responsibility of employers, however everything referenced by Google is in the public domain so there is no invasion of privacy.

  • 0

    Scrote

    The guy could change his name. Maybe use the name of one of the members of SMAP?

  • 0

    Ch1n4Sailor

    If Google doesn't like to be subject to Japanese laws they have to close their offices in Japan like they did in China some years before.

    Again not quite... If Google has servers in Japan, those servers may be subject to Japanese law, from a criminal law point of view (yes, even in there is a difference between, Civil Law, and Criminal Law) I.E, If the Google is hosting Child Porn, Yes, The Japanese police could get a warrant to search or seize that content on their servers... This is very very very different than some guy, filing a civil suit, and getting a judge to render some kind of civil relief.

    Which in Actuality, JapanToday, Got the story Wrong!

    The actual court order was Not to Suspend Google Auto-Complete service, but to remove that guys name, and any association with the current search results... Much Much Much Different.

  • 2

    zichi

    Google must have servers in Japan. I noticed my "bloodspot" blog changed from bloodspot dot com to bloodspot dot jp. So without me informing Google they knew I was posting from Japan and changed my url accordingly?

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Of course, Google and all other major companies got hundreds and thousands of servers worldwide.

    The Net is carried on hundreds of thousand if not millions of servers, many which double as mirrors to reduce access times.

    Ditto for the Cloud(just a new term for online storage and online sharing).

  • -2

    It"S ME

    Forgot to add "distributed and shared computing".

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