Google Loses Defamation Case In Italy Over Autocomplete

Posted Apr 5, 2011

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been sued on Tuesday over its auto-complete search feature. Lead counsel Carlo Piana said that the Court of Milan upheld a decision to order Google to filter out search suggestions considered libel.

When people search for Piana’s client, some of the autocomplete suggestions include truffatore (“con man”) and truffa (“fraud”). Google attempted to claim E-Commerce Directive safe harbour provisions, which partly protects ISPs from liability of content that is transmitted over systems.

“All cases are different, therefore there is no assurance that similar cases would see the same outcome,” stated Piana. He said that the case had “caused a lot of trouble to the client, who has a public image both as an entrepreneur and provider of educational services in the field of personal finance.”

[Piana via ZDNet]