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Deal Reached in Google 'Jew' Lawsuit

Google has reached a deal with French anti-racism groups who filed lawsuit over “Jew” suggestion when seeing names of prominent figures.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/4/2012, 4:45 PM

Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Google Chrome, speaks during Google Conference
Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Google Chrome, speaks during Google Conference
Reuters

Internet search giant Google has reached a deal with French anti-racism groups who filed a lawsuit over the “Jew” suggestion in the auto-complete feature of the search engine.

The initial lawsuit, filed in May, stated that “numerous users of the first search engine of France and the world are confronted daily with the association, unsolicited and almost systematically, [of] the word ‘Jew’ with the names of those most prominent in the world of politics, media or business.”

Both sides confirmed the deal had been reached for the groups to drop a legal complaint against Google, but refused to comment on its specifics, AFP reported. 

Six groups, including SOS Racisme, the Movement against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples (MRAP), the International League Against Racism and anti-Semitism (LICRA) and Memoire 2000 argued that Google was unintentionally breaking the law.

Google users "are confronted daily by the unsolicited and almost systematic association of the word 'Jew' with the names of the best-known people in the world of politics, the media or business," the groups said.   

Under French law, it is illegal to record someone's ethnicity in a database.   

Bernard Jouanneau, a lawyer for Memoire 2000, said the deal "identified areas of useful cooperation in the fight against racism and anti-Semitism that put an end to the dispute."   

Google also refused to comment on the specifics of the deal, but said it would be working with the anti-racism groups on public education projects.   

"Google supports education and information against racism and anti-Semitism," a Google France spokesman said.   

"Together with the associations, we will develop and promote projects aimed at increasing the awareness of Internet users to values of tolerance and respect."