German court orders changes to Google search hints

The autocomplete function is based on algorithms that take into account what other users have searched for.

Written by Associated Press | Berlin | Published:May 14, 2013 8:31 pm

A top German court has ordered Google Inc. to act on requests to remove autocomplete entries from the search engine after a suit claimed the feature made defamatory suggestions.

The Federal Court of Justice in Karlsruhe upheld a complaint from an unidentified company selling nutritional supplements and its founder,identified only as “R.S.”

The plaintiffs claimed when their names were entered on Google’s German-language website,it suggested links to Scientology and fraud.

The autocomplete function is based on algorithms that take into account what other users have searched for.

In its decision,the court said Google didn’t have to vet all autocomplete suggestions in advance but did have to remove defamatory results when notified.

A spokeswoman for Google in Germany said the company would comment on the verdict later Tuesday.

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