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French group suing Google for Jewish auto-complete searches

JTA

May 1, 2012 | 11:40 am

The Google search homepage

The Google search homepage

A French anti-discrimination group is taking Google to court for offering to search if celebrities are Jewish.

SOS Racisme, a French organization that fights discrimination, is scheduled to meet Google attorneys in a French courtroom on Wednesday for a hearing on the matter, according to the Hollywood Reporter, citing French media reports.

The suggestion of Jewish comes as part of Google’s auto-complete feature, which appends terms to searches to make them faster. Some of the celebrities’ names associated with Jewish include News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch and “Mad Men” star Jon Hamm.

Google says on its support webpage that suggestions made by the auto-complete feature “are a reflection of the search activity of all Web users and the contents of Web pages indexed by Google.”

In court filings, SOS Racisme claims that Google allegedly is violating a French constitutional law against compiling files on people that reference their ethnicity.

SOS Racisme is joined in the lawsuit by France’s Union of Jewish Students and other organizations.

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