Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Tickler

Federeal Courts orders Google to reveal identity of a person writing negative review

Recommended Posts

Tickler

Federal Court ordered Google to reveal the identity of someone who wrote a negative review.

On Thursday, the Federal Court ordered Google to reveal the identity of someone who left a negative review about a teeth whitening practice, the ABC reported.

 

Melbourne dentist Matthew Kabbabe, who runs the teeth whitening service Asprodontics, called for Google to reveal the identity of a person who left a negative review of his business so he could take legal action.

Negative-review.jpg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The user review. Image: Screenshot.

 

Kabbabe told the ABC that the negative review from a user with the name “CBsm 23” – the only negative review at the time amid five star ratings – was put up on Google three months ago and affected both his life and business.

 

Kabbabe’s lawyer Mark Stanarevic said in the report he believes Google “has a duty of care” to businesses for allowing these reviews.

“A bad review can shut down a business these days because most people live and breathe online,” Stanarevic said.

 

Google was ordered to hand over information that identified “CBsm 23”, including phone numbers, names, location metadata and IP addresses.

 

This may require companies to think harder about their business practices around reviews

Rob Nicholls Associate Professor at the UNSW Business School told Business Insider Australia, “The dentist had no way of being able to serve court papers on that person directly because they were shielded by Google. So the court said to Google, you have to get rid of that shield so that the normal process can continue.”

 

At the same time, the dentist claimed the reviewer hadn’t actually been to the business. “If that reviewer had been to their practice, they wouldn’t need to have called on Google because they’d actually have their names and addresses,” Nicholls added.

 

Nicholls believes in practice it’s “not such a big threat” for companies like Google because getting a court to agree that the action of the reviewer has caused such harm as to give rise to a case for defamation is “not likely to happen often”.

 

What it does mean, Nicholls said, is that Google and other companies might have to think much harder about their business practices in relation to reviews.

 

“Potentially Google and others might have to think a bit harder about what reviews they allow to be published if they can see that on their face they look as if they’re defamatory,” he said. But that wouldn’t stop a bad review, he added.

 

While Nicholls thinks Google will have to identify the reviewer in this case, he said if he was advising Google he would opt to appeal the decision so as not to give out the information. That way Google wouldn’t need to change its business model if it was successful.

 

“Otherwise Google and all publishers of reviews will have to think about how do they manage potentially defamatory reviews,” Nicholls said.

He explained that it could add an extra business process step for these companies “under which an AI system looks to see if a review is essentially defamatory and won’t publish that immediately until it’s been reviewed or simply doesn’t publish it.”

Will this impact privacy?

When asked whether this situation has any implications on privacy, Nicholls didn’t think so, especially with companies like Google and Facebook already knowing who people are.

 

“The reality is, Google knows the name of the reviewer,” he said. “In effect, from an individual’s perspective, you’ve given up… some of the privacy by agreeing to Google and Facebook’s standard of submission.”

 

Google told Business Insider in an email that it takes court orders seriously but does not comment on ongoing legal matters.

 

Source

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Arachnoid

As with Amazon not all reviews are real [many even written by bots] but a business should not rely on an open feedback system for business anyway.On a personal note I think its absurd the vendor even going to court over this trivial matter because if they received quantities of actual positive feedback from other users it would instantly drown out these reviews .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tickler
10 hours ago, Arachnoid said:

As with Amazon not all reviews are real [many even written by bots] but a business should not rely on an open feedback system for business anyway.On a personal note I think its absurd the vendor even going to court over this trivial matter because if they received quantities of actual positive feedback from other users it would instantly drown out these reviews .

Many people are often more interesed in critical or negative feedback/reviews/experiences. It's not a right habit anyway to make a negative review of any product or services used by the person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Arachnoid

What is the point if you dont have a balanced view of the service provider it makes the whole thing of no use if the genuine negatives views are not taken into account?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...