Former German first lady Bettina Wulff has filed a defamation suit against the search engine giant Google for damaging her reputation by its instant search or auto-complete services.
The case has been filed with the Hamburg district court last week to remove a list of damaging terms recommended by Google’s auto-complete feature in connection with Bettina.
Since last week, Google has been suggesting (via Auto-Complete) terms like Prostitute, Prostitution and Escorts, if you search for Bettina Wulff in multiple languages.
Bettina, the wife of former German President Christian Wulff has already told in press conference that “She has never worked as an escort.”
For the last 2 years, she has been fighting with bloggers and journalists for spreading the rumors of she being an escort and prostitute in her past. Her lawyers have already issued 34 successful cease-and-desist orders, including one against a prominent German television personality this weekend.
Google’s auto-complete algorithm suggests terms and phrases on the basis of search popularity and subsequent indexation. If you are signed in to your Google account with the search history enabled, you will also see search queries from relevant searches that you have done in the past.
Past History of Google:
In December 2011, Google paid $65,000 as fine due to its auto-complete feature suggesting a French insurance company as “esroc,” means “crook.”
In April 2011, Google lost a case in Italy and manually removed the auto-complete suggestion that labeled one man a “truffatore” and a “truffa” (con man and fraud).
Google, which has refused to comply, claims that the search suggestions are simply the result of an algorithm. The company seems confident about the lawsuit, having won similar cases in court with claims that the search engine only reflects what people search for most often online.