3 Jul 2019

'Google's contempt for NZ law is unacceptable'

9:57 am on 3 July 2019

Justice Minister Andrew Little is considering what to do about what he describes as Google's contempt for New Zealand law.

Andrew Little

Andrew Little Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Google named the man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane in its "what's trending in New Zealand" email in December, despite him having name suppression.

Mr Little and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with Google representatives immediately after the incident and expressed their concern about the breach.

Google had told the government it would take measures to ensure it doesn't breach New Zealand's suppression laws.

Mr Little asked for an update on that from the technology giant in March, and after receiving no response, followed up with them this week.

Watch Andrew Little on Morning Report here:

Google's New Zealand government affairs manager Ross Young yesterday emailed the minister and said they had looked at its systems.

But Mr Young said it appeared that last year's situation was relatively unique because it was a high profile case involving a person from overseas, which was extensively reported by international media.

He said Google respected New Zealand law and they were engaging with local stakeholders.

Mr Little said Google's response was unsatisfactory.

"Google's contempt for New Zealand law, and for Grace Millane's family is unacceptable, and I will now be considering my options," he said.

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