Encroachment on plaintiff’s personality right (here in concretu a name that appeared in connection with fraud and Scientology) is directly attributable to Google. Google evaluated user behaviour using the computer program created by it and submitted relevant suggestions to the users of the search engine.
In principle, however, it does not follow that the defendant is liable for any infringement of personality rights caused by search suggestions. Google cannot be accused of having developed and used software that compiles search suggestions, but solely that it has not taken sufficient precautions to prevent the search suggestions generated by the software from violating third party rights. That would not be technically feasible in our opinion.
If an affected party now calls on Google to prohibit the terms infringing personal rights, the liability of the operator is contingent on the breach of reasonable verification obligations. Google is not obligated to check in advance the search suggestions proposed by a software for possible infringement, but is only responsible if Google becomes aware of the unlawful violation of the personality right.
If an affected party notifies the operator of an illegal violation of his personal rights, the operator is obliged to prevent such violations in the future.Having regard to the Jurassic decision, it was stated that local jurisdiction is established for personal rights violations with the aid of Google Inc. USA. As regards the substance, however, the Cantonal Court of Jura has ruled that the autocomplete function of Google cannot give rise to Google’s involvement in personal injury, on the grounds that censorship would otherwise exists and freedom of media under Article 17 of the Swiss Federal Constitution (BV, SR 101) would no longer be guaranteed.
Switzerland is alone in taking this stance. Moreover, Google was obliged to remove certain autocomplete suggestions in France and in Italy.