Dear Valued Visitor,

We have noticed that you are using an ad blocker software.

Although advertisements on the web pages may degrade your experience, our business certainly depends on them and we can only keep providing you high-quality research based articles as long as we can display ads on our pages.

To view this article, you can disable your ad blocker and refresh this page or simply login.

We only allow registered users to use ad blockers. You can sign up for free by clicking here or you can login if you are already a member.

Google Inc. (GOOG) Not Liable for Vanity Search Results, Court Says

It’s time for an installment of offbeat news this Wednesday morning, and this came across our desk regarding Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG). As Google is a search engine, should Google be held accountable in its indexing of Web pages for developing search results that may tarnish an individual’s public image?

We take you to Wisconsin, where a Beverly Stayart of Elkhorn sued Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) – and in a separate suit, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) – over a suggested web search term that she claimed did damage to her “wholesome” image. She discovered that when trying a “vanity” search of “bev stayart” on Google wound up creating a suggested search parameter of “bev stayart levitra,” which produced results that linked to and showed ads for purchasing Levitra, a prescription drug that treats sexual dysfunction.

Google Inc (GOOG)After a federal judge rejected Stayart’s claim that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) violated state privacy law by using her name without her consent for the purpose of generating advertising revenue, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling, saying that Stayart was not able to “substantially” determine that Google used her name to gain revenue. Stayart said connecting her name with a sexual-dyfunction drug went against her “wholesome” image as an animal-rights activist, published poet and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

In the ruling – which came 11 months after oral arguments – by the three-judge panel, Judge Anne Claire Williams wrote that this case was within the public interest and incidental use exceptions in the Wisconsin privacy law, stating that Stayart herself made the search issue a public interest issue by this lawsuit and the prior one with Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO), and Stayart was not able to demonstrate a “substantial” connection between her name and Google’s suggested search terms generating revenue for the company.

What do you think? Let us know your thoughts about whether Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) should in any way be responsible for its search results produced by certain parameters.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

Please see these related GOOG articles:

More Reasons to Make This Tech Bet

Which Cracks First: Google or Amazon?

A YouTube Music Service?

DOWNLOAD FREE REPORT: Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks

Let Warren Buffett, George Soros, Steve Cohen, and Daniel Loeb WORK FOR YOU.

If you want to beat the low cost index funds by 19 percentage points per year, look no further than our monthly newsletter.In this free report you can find an in-depth analysis of the performance of Warren Buffett's entire historical stock picks. We uncovered Warren Buffett's Best Stock Picks and a way to for Buffett to improve his returns by more than 4 percentage points per year.

Bonus Biotech Stock Pick: You can also find a detailed bonus biotech stock pick that we expect to return more than 50% within 12 months.
Subscribe me to Insider Monkey's Free Daily Newsletter
This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.