Feeds

French court fines Google $65k over search suggestion

Did your $%&* algorithm just call me a crook?

High performance access to file storage

Google has been fined $65,000 by a French court after its search engine suggested the French word for 'crook' when users typed-in the name of an insurance company, according to reports.

The court said Google had ignored requests to remove the suggestion from its 'autocomplete' search engine technology when users searched for insurance firm Lyonnaise de Garantie, a report by the Courthouse News Service said. The internet giant was ordered to remove suggestions for the word 'escroc' from searches for the company.

Autocomplete suggests words or characters for completing a partial search on Google.

Google had unsuccessfully argued that it was not liable for the word association because it had been generated by an automatic algorithm and not by human thought, the Courthouse News Service report said.

Under the EU's E-Commerce Directive online service providers are exempt from liability for content they provide access to but which was not created by them.

However this protection only exists if the provider removes the illegal content quickly when notified of its existence. The French court ruled that it had not, according to the report.

In March last year a court in Milan found Google liable for defamation because its autocomplete suggestions paired an accountant's name with defamatory keywords.

The judges in that case decided that the exemption from liability could not apply, as the suggestions were powered by software that the company had itself created.

In 2010 three Google executives were given suspended prison sentences by an Italian court for not removing a video from YouTube of Turin school pupils bullying an autistic schoolmate immediately following user complaints.

Copyright © 2012, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Putin tells Snowden: Russia conducts no US-style mass surveillance
Gov't is too broke for that, Russian prez says
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.