Google ‘identifies rape victims’ | News

Tech giant accused of allowing users to bypass court anonymity orders

Google’s algorithm automatically brings up victims’ names because it has logged popular searches for information about victimsLEON NEAL/GETTY IMAGES

Google is helping its users to uncover the identity of rape victims whose anonymity is protected by law, The Times has found.

Searches for attackers and alleged attackers in several prominent sexual assault cases automatically reveal the names of women that they have been convicted or accused of abusing.

Entering the name of a victim or complainant in the site’s search engine can also flag up the identity of their abuser or alleged abuser. The identity of vulnerable defendants granted anonymity can also be revealed.

Google uses automated “related search” and “autocomplete” functions to direct users to content associated with the terms that they enter online. The related search feature makes suggestions at the bottom of the web page based on what other users have…

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