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Google challenged in France over searches

Google challenged in France over searches
The Google logo is shown prior to the unveiling of the Nexus One Android smart phone, the first mobile phone the internet company will sell directly to consumers, during a news conference at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California January 5, 2010. UPI/Robert Galbraith/Pool | License Photo

PARIS, May 23 (UPI) -- Google is involved in a dispute in France over a search algorithm that automatically identifies some celebrities as Jewish.

A Jewish student group and three anti-racist groups say that violates French laws barring data bases classifying people based on race, Radio France Internationale reported. Google France and the other parties have been ordered to meet with a mediator.

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"We will talk about philosophy rather than law and of technical solutions rather than who is right and who is wrong," said Patrick Klugman, a lawyer representing SOS-racisme.

Klugman said the legal challenge to Google does not mean the company is an "ideological enemy" of his client.

Google argues that its search results come from its users. It described them Tuesday as being generated "totally automatically, according to criteria which are purely algorithmic, notably corresponding to the popularity of searches by web users."

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