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Are the courts blind to Google autosuggesting Fred Goodwin’s affair partner?

May 19, 2011 No Comment

Blind justice

Can the courts see what's on the internet?

Fred Goodwin allegedly had an affair and you can find out who it was supposedly with by typing his name into Google - not because you can see it in the results (as with Imogen Thomas's footballer) but because Google is showing her name as one of its autocomplete suggestions.

The courts seem, yet again, to be blind to the ease with which it's possible to find out the details when rumours about the subjects of injunctions start to spread across the internet.

I've chronicled before how details of the affair, which no one should have published because of the injunction, were easily available on newspaper sites and Wikipedia.

Fred Goodwin autocomplete

I've redacted her name ...

Now that the suggestion of the affair has been raised in the House of Lords, it is permitted, under Parliamentary Privilege, to name Sir Fred. But the injunction revealing any of the details, such as the woman's identity, remains in place. However, typing Fred Goodwin's name causes Google to suggest the name of the woman allegedly involved. So even if you weren't searching for that, the details are shoved under your nose. (Image credit.)

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