Google Placed Under Pressure To Alter Autocomplete Function
It’s a feature that has courted controversy since it was rolled out by the search engine behemoth, but now Google has been ordered by a Japanese court to disable part of its autocomplete function, which predicts what users will search for when they begin to type in the search box.
The move comes after a Japanese man sought legal action when he noticed that his name was being linked with crimes he had nothing to do with, with the autocomplete function effectively sullying his reputation by giving a false impression to users typing in certain search terms.
Google, never one to bow down to external pressure, including legal pressure, stated that they are yet to carry out the request from the court, which relates to the removal of a small batch of search terms, rather than the disabling of the search function altogether, but are currently in the reviewing stage.
The court case isn’t the first involving an individual or company, the search engine giant, and the autocomplete function, but, depending upon the eventual reaction from Google, it may just lead to an avalanche of similar court cases from individuals unhappy at their names being unfairly tainted by negative associations on the search function.
For some, the news is just the latest cause for complaint when it comes to a perceived spy culture at Google, with the ever-paranoid critics of the company always quick to jump on any hint that individuals are fighting back against the mechanically generated search results.
For the individual involved with this particular case, however, at least he can rest easy at night knowing that an inadvertent effect of his court case will be to push related search terms which do reflect the truth higher up on Google’s autocomplete function over the coming weeks and months!