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…

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