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The End of Autocomplete?

Posted on 3.25.2012

A Tokyo District Court has approved a petition which would force Google to suspend its auto-complete search feature.

The function, which anticipates the user's query and suggests keywords/phrases based on what the user starts to type into the search box, has been the subject of several modifications in recent months including the expansion of autocomplete predictions in December 2011.  

According to an article in the Japan Times, Google is refusing to remove the feature, arguing that its US headquarters can't be regulated by Japanese law. The petition evolved from a case where a man alleged that the feature breached his privacy, got him fired and caused several companies to subsequently reject him when he applied for new jobs.

Google previously reject the litigant's request to delete certain words on the grounds that the auto-complete suggestions were selected mechanically and not intentionally

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