Tokyo doctor to sue Google over 'harmful' Maps app reviews

NHK has learned that a doctor in Tokyo is preparing to sue Google. The physician says the US IT giant has refused to delete harmful reviews of their clinic from its Maps application.

Google Maps allows users to post reviews about facilities and locations and rate them. It is said to be the most popular map application in Japan.

The doctor says some of the reviews of the clinic are unfounded, with one person claiming to have been turned away at the door. The doctor apparently asked Google to delete the posts, but it said a court order is needed to do so.

The lawyer for the clinic aims to explain in court that Google's inadequate response is hurting its interests, and that clearer standards for deleting harmful reviews are needed.

A class-action suit with other doctors with similar problems may also be in the works.

Google has commented that it is trying to make it easier to find trustworthy information and reduce inaccurate and misleading content. The company says human operators and algorithms work around the clock to protect business profiles and delete unfair reviews.