Google Fined $65,000 For Defaming Search Suggestion
Today’s search engine is a mark of sophistication and many would consider easier to use. Google in particular is the biggest innovator in the search space and with things like ‘Search Suggest’, ‘Google Instant Search’ and other canny features, users are finding that there’s little heavy lifting needed. But sophistication is costing Google—albeit not much.
The latest infringement for Google search technology comes with the cannibalizing or ‘defaming’ of a search suggestion in Google France. According to the lawsuit filed by French insurance company Lyonnaise de Garantie, the addition of the word “escroc” which means crook in French to the company’s search keyword, defames the company. A French court agreed naturally with the complaint and decided to fine Google. The amount? 50,000 Euros or around $65,000.
The judgment was highly critical of the lack of human intervention with Google’s search apparatus, and cited that addition of the word was “offending to the company”. The judgment also called for “human control” over Google’s search engine, something Google was quick to rebut. According to Google, the auto-complete functionality “expression of a human thought”, an “opinion” or a “value judgement or criticism” but was the result of its automatic algorithm.
Google of course won’t have much trouble coming up with 50,000 Euros anyway (the currency is dying fast against the dollar), but the fine is making it use human intervention more on its search queries. The additional word was removed of course, but it remains to be seen how many other suits will come out of the woodworks because of it.