I'm sure everyone reading this has used Google at some point and seen that nifty feature which auto-completes your search query for you based on previous queries other people have placed. It's pretty cool, and sometimes outright outrageously funny with some of the suggestions it provides. But how would you like it to auto-complete your name with suggestions that suggest you committed crimes?
Well, that's just the situation that one Japanese man has found himself in. He says that when he searches his name, it does just that: return suggestions and results that suggest he has committed crimes that he claims he hasn't. He claims he lost his job because of it, and wasn't hired for new ones. After all, almost all jobs do a Google search on a prospective employee.
He requested that Google take it down, but they refused. He then turned to the courts to seek an injunction. On March 19th, the Tokyo court approved the injunction requiring Google to suspend its auto-complete results. Google has refused to comply with the order, and refuses to be regulated by Japanese law.
This isn't the first time Google Instant has brought controversy. Yahoo complained about it taking away its market share. More recently, a man in France had his name tied with the words "satanist" and "rapist" and managed to get Google to remove it. Funny part is he was actually convicted of corrupting a minor. How would you feel if Google Instant tied you to crimes you didn't commit?