Google auto-complete reputation woes!

Google algorithm and the auto-complete function has landed the search engine giant back in court again. This time it is a man from Japan who alleges that he lost his job with the auto complete bringing up criminal acts when his name is typed into the search box. The man demands that the defaming words be removed and that he gets compensated for all the embarrassment he has had to go through.

Clearly a case of  reputation damage and though the court has ruled that the offending words be removed Google has towed the ‘not subject to Japanese law’ line. However, the present case is about compensation and yet again Google defence points out that such cases are rare and the algorithm decides things on what is already available online.

A man from Italy won a case against Google for similar reasons and so did a Frenchman who had to deal with words like ‘rapist’ being suggested with his name. Google does screen for pornography, profanity etc, so can easily oblige if  a court sees it as having caused reputation damage to a plaintiff.

However, with Google claiming to have more and more requests from governments to remove content all this could well eat into the brand losing its sheen of being impartial based on its algorithm, which gets tweaked every so often to weed out spam and information of low value among other things. So will Google pay up??

Toyota fined $32.4 million for not notifying safety issues

Toyota is to pay a fine of $32 million to the US transportation department for not notifying them on the safety issues in the stipulated time. The auto giant has agreed to do so and this it hopes will bring an unfortunate year to an end.

In a year of major reputation crisis Toyota had it the worst in the auto sector with the recalls and the reputation blitz that followed.  Toyota was the worst performer among major automakers in the U S this year, with a rise of just 0.2 percent in its single-biggest market.

While the famed management style – The Toyota Way may have been great all these years, being such a global leader with a huge US market and managing it all from far far away has had its effects. Traditional management rules from Toyota city, in Japan, probably brought out these problems in the first place.

As far as business reputations go the automaker has had its worst year till date. Recalling 11 million vehicles worldwide and now being slapped a record fine has brought up the pay-out made by the company to nearly $50 million. And billions could follow if related lawsuits  succeed.