Japanese Healthcare Professionals Sue Google Over Damaging Reviews on Maps App (Japan Today)

Japanese Healthcare Professionals Sue Google Over Damaging Reviews on Maps App

  Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024 Source: Japan Today

In a notable legal development, 63 healthcare professionals across Japan have initiated a lawsuit against Google LLC, citing harm caused by unfounded negative reviews on Google Maps. This collective action, filed in the Tokyo District Court, marks the first instance of medical practitioners directly challenging a tech giant over the impact of its platform services on their businesses.

The plaintiffs, who range from doctors to dentists, argue that Google’s platform has allowed slanderous and inaccurate reviews to persist, notably false claims of business closures, which have substantially obstructed their operations. These negative reviews have reportedly led to significant disadvantages, impacting patient trust and clinic reputations.

Legal representation for the group, Yuichi Nakazawa, emphasized the unfair burden placed on individual practitioners, particularly given the constraints of doctor-patient confidentiality that prevent them from contesting untrue reviews directly. Despite efforts by Google to mitigate misinformation, the company has maintained a policy of non-intervention in specific cases, which the plaintiffs argue contributes to the ongoing issues.

This lawsuit underscores a growing global concern about the accountability of tech platforms for user-generated content, especially when such content can have profound real-world consequences for professional services.

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