Japan court rejects removal of arrest record in Google search results

The Tokyo District Court dismissed on Friday a man’s claim demanding that Google Inc. remove a record of his arrest on a fraud charge more than 10 years ago in internet search results.

Presiding Judge Katsuhiko Okazaki said in the ruling, “Leaving the fact of the arrest known at low cost serves the public interest.”

The man, who led a fraud group for cash withdrawal and was given a suspended prison term, lives in Tokyo and runs a company. His lawyer plans to appeal the decision.

Google welcomed the court decision, saying in a comment, “The ruling respects a right to know and access to information.”

Judge Okazaki said, “It was a high-profile case. The public interest has not faded away as only about five years have passed since his probation period was over.”

It is legitimate for business clients to be able to learn such facts about the man as part of credit research, the judge said, although acknowledging that the plaintiff may be inconvenienced if his acquaintances see the search result and distance themselves from him.

The plaintiff said his arrest record can be found by searching for his name and address.

Source: Japan Time

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