Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Compliance Suggestion for Google

A court in Paris, France has fined Google $65,000 because its search engine's autocomplete feature brings up the French word for "crook" when users type the name of insurance company Lyonnaise de Garantie, which brought a suit against Google.

(Source: Ars Technica - French court frowns on Google autocomplete, issues $65,000 fine)

First of all, that is not Google's choice. The autocomplete suggestions are based on what other people are searching. Thus, loads of French people already associate Lyonnaise de Garantie with "stealing their money".

Ok, so the French court is foolish, but Google still needs to comply with the ruling. It appears they did the obvious and now prevent their autocomplete from displaying any query containing both "Lyonnaise de Garantie" and "escroc" (the French word for crook). I have a better idea.

Google should
  • prevent their autocomplete from displaying any query containing "Lyonnaise de Garantie",
  • prevent their search engine from accepting any query containing "Lyonnaise de Garantie", and
  • remove search results (from allowed queries) that contain any reference to "Lyonnaise de Garantie".
That way, Lyonnaise de Garantie can't be offended and sue Google for connecting their name with any negative connotation this world has to offer.

Sounds like a good idea to me.

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