Google auto-complete function: time to clean up its act?

Have you ever been impressed with the ability of Google to read your mind when you type a phrase into the search box and it finishes off your sentence?

This ‘auto-complete’ facility on the world’s most-used search engine has been subject to worldwide criticism over the last few years and most recently has found itself the subject of scrutiny in Germany’s federal court, the Bundesgerichtshof.

In an important decision for purveyors of online content, the German court has ruled in a claim brought by ‘anon’ that in the event Google is notified of defamatory auto-completed suggestions, it must remove the defamatory automated algorithm connections. In this case, the unidentified man felt that he was subject to defamatory insinuations when ‘Scientology’ and ‘fraud’ were linked with his name on the search engine…

If you are registered and logged in to the site, click on the link below to read the rest of the Shoosmiths briefing. If not, please register or sign in with your details below.

Sign in or Register to continue reading this article

Sign in


It's quick, easy and free!

It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.

Register now

Why register to The Lawyer


Industry insight

In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.


Market intelligence

Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.


Email newsletters

Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.

More relevant to you

To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.

Briefings from Shoosmiths

View more briefings from Shoosmiths

Analysis from The Lawyer

  • Hester: declined bonus worth almost £1m

    Pay checks

    Compliance and corporate governance codes for large financial institutions will undoubtedly include provisions to regulate high pay in the future

  • high street 150

    Focus: Alternative business structures - Law and new order

    There’s more to the ABS model than attracting the man in the street and procuring external investment. Partners at the big corporate firms, take note…


2 Colmore Square
38 Colmore Circus Queensway
B4 6BJ

Turnover (£m): 92.98
No. of lawyers: 393


  • Training Contract

    Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Northampton, Milton Keynes, London, Reading, Basingstoke, Solent | £ 24,000