The French clearly have strict laws and even Google knows this by now – Google has been fined by a French court for its Google suggest yet again (the second time this year) and this time the court has ruled in favour of a convicted sex offender. What is interesting is that Google got fined for suggesting ‘rapist’ with the plaintiff’s name who was then awaiting conviction!
Clearly the criminal case involved and the legalese and the rights that come along with it has allowed the plaintiff to be awarded 5,000 euros (6,700 dollars) towards his legal costs.
This could bring out a lot more French trouble for Google and cases awaiting judgement could well scrutinize Google Suggest words and the effect it will have on the case as it can be deemed as media coverage. Definitely a news story that is for the books for PR experts, Reputation Managers and SEO watchers.
Google’s defence of Google Suggest being user suggested queries did not impress the court in France and clearly the algorithm may need to be tweaked if more such cases crop up. For a celebrity or a company fighting a criminal case in the courts in Paris and what Google Suggest could do before the verdict is out can only be speculated at this point.
So, will more of the secret algorithm be revealed via the French legal system is something we will be keeping a close watch on. Watch this space for more…