Financial News

  • 7 August 2014, 13:47

Tycoon To Sue Google Over Triad Search Link

A billionaire tycoon is to sue Google over search results linking him to organised criminal gangs.

Hong Kong businessman Albert Yeung says the search company has refused to stop the word triad being linked to his name as part of the site's auto-complete function.

The word is automatically suggested when Mr Yeung's surname is typed into the Google search box.

The names of triad gangs "14k" and "Sun Yee On" also come up when the business tycoon's name is searched.

Google had argued that no human input was used for its auto-complete function, and that the results did not "attribute negative connotations" to anyone.

But a high court judge has now dismissed Google's attempt to stop the lawsuit.

Judge Marlene Ng said: "There is a good arguable case that Google is the publisher of the words and liable for their publication.

"The advantages of having easy access to a rich store of information are many ... but such benefit comes at a price; any risk of misinformation can spread easily as users forage in the web."

Mr Yeung is founder of the Emperor Group which has businesses in the movie industry and real estate.

He says his personal and business reputation had been "gravely injured" by the Google issue.

Google faced a similar court case in Germany in 2013 when an anonymous entrepreneur successfully sued after auto-complete linked his name to "Scientology" and "fraud". A court ordered Google to remove the offending words.

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