Google has been ordered by the Tokyo District Court to stop its autocomplete search feature because a man is claiming that it’s an invasion of privacy. According to the court, the man has been fired from his job because Google autocompletes his name with crimes he has never committed.
Google’s autocomplete is the Instant Search that tries to anticipate what you want to search by automatically filling out the most popular searches when you type in a word. The man who took Google to the Japanese courts has been attached to criminal activity through autocomplete even though he’s unfamiliar with those crimes. He says that Google’s autocomplete feature has made it hard for him to find a job and is ruining his reputation.
As of now, Google hasn’t turned off its autocomplete feature because it claims that since it’s a US company, it won’t need to change its policies due to Japanese law. It also feels that the autocomplete feature isn’t an invasion of privacy because the search terms aren’t manually created, instead it’s popping up because the algorithm shows which searches are most popular.