It's hard to stay out of the radar when you're as big as Google. And if you're looking for an easy target to score some political points, Google is almost as good as Facebook. Once again a harmless but poorly understood feature is the target of a lawsuit, auto suggestions.
The feature has been causing problems for Google since its inception, especially in Europe. Google looks at the millions and millions of searches it sees each day and figures out what are the popular ones.
It then tries to predict what you're trying to search for before you finish typing based on all the other searches containing those words. The feature is completely algorithm-based, thus automated.
But this hasn't stopped anyone from suing Google for defamation when words they don't like appear as suggestions next to their names. Unfortunately, these ridiculous suits are actually successful in plenty of cases.
Bettina Wulff, wife of former German president (yes they have one of those) Christian Wulff isn't too happy with the first suggestions on the German Google Search for her name, "prostituierte" and "escort."
It's safe to say that few people would be happy with those suggestions, but that doesn't make them illegal, or at least it shouldn't.
Google only presents those suggestions because a lot of people have been using those exact queries. While it's obvious that showing the suggestions spurs the number of searches for those exact words, the interest was there before Google started displaying the words.
It's easy to argue then that Google is only giving users something they want as clearly indicated by the fact that they're already searching for it in large numbers. What's more, no one is going to mistake a suggestion as a statement, Google can't and doesn't know the truth of a query, it doesn't even understand it in the vast majority of cases, on the account of being a computer program.