8 votes

Australian Federal Court orders Google to turn over identifying information of user who left negative review for Melbourne dentist.

9 comments

  1. [4]
    Soptik
    Link
    This is absurd. Dentist forcing company to turn over customer info so he can sue them for bad review? What’s the point of reviews then? Google seems to have disabled reviews for now on his office:...

    This is absurd. Dentist forcing company to turn over customer info so he can sue them for bad review? What’s the point of reviews then?

    Google seems to have disabled reviews for now on his office: gmaps link. All I could find about the review was from BBC:

    He claimed user CBsm 23 had damaged his business by telling others to "STAY AWAY" from a procedure criticised as "extremely awkward and uncomfortable".

    This is just absurd.

    They've defamed my client. He's lost thousands and thousands of dollars.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      Algernon_Asimov
      Link Parent
      He's not suing for a bad review. He believes this is a fake review, which "may have come from a competitor or disgruntled former employee". He believes this because: They're trying to find out if...

      Dentist forcing company to turn over customer info so he can sue them for bad review? What’s the point of reviews then?

      He's not suing for a bad review. He believes this is a fake review, which "may have come from a competitor or disgruntled former employee". He believes this because:

      The review in question, authored by a user called "CBsm 23", is the only one containing negative comments on Dr Kabbabe's business page. The rest of his reviews have five stars. [from the article I posted]

      They're trying to find out if the review is fake. If it is a fake review, then it counts as libel. That's a suable offence.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        ShroudedMouse
        Link Parent
        IANAL but the Victorian Defamation Act of 2005 seems relevant here. Apparently there's no 'libel' legally-speaking. Both libel and slander fall under 'defamation'.

        IANAL but the Victorian Defamation Act of 2005 seems relevant here. Apparently there's no 'libel' legally-speaking. Both libel and slander fall under 'defamation'.

        3 votes
        1. Algernon_Asimov
          Link Parent
          I already know that libel and slander are two forms of defamation: libel is literary (i.e. written) defamation, and slander is spoken defamation (handy mnemonics for the win!) And, because they're...

          I already know that libel and slander are two forms of defamation: libel is literary (i.e. written) defamation, and slander is spoken defamation (handy mnemonics for the win!) And, because they're both defamation, they're both suable - which is what that Victorian act seems to recognise.

          So, whether we call it libel or defamation, this review is still written defamation and is still suable.

          1 vote
  2. HoolaBoola
    Link
    I have really conflicted feelings about this. On one hand, the dentist is absolutely right that an anonymous review might seriously impact a business. People use anonymity for all kinds of...

    I have really conflicted feelings about this. On one hand, the dentist is absolutely right that an anonymous review might seriously impact a business. People use anonymity for all kinds of disgusting things.

    On the other hand, I believe anonymity is important on the internet. Especially in countries with reduced democracy. Having Google hand your personal information to whichever authority is kind of worrying.

    3 votes
  3. [4]
    envy
    Link
    Huh.

    "If you're out there trying to hide by anonymity, even via VPN, I think the court system's catching up now and there are ways and means of obtaining that information," he said.

    Huh.

    2 votes
    1. [3]
      Keegan
      Link Parent
      Are the means browser fingerprinting? Or just when people use crappy free (data harvesting) VPNs?

      Are the means browser fingerprinting? Or just when people use crappy free (data harvesting) VPNs?

      1. [2]
        envy
        Link Parent
        He is probably hoping for more clients, as opposed to offering free technical advice :) He's a lawyer. I've yet to meet a lawyer who is technically competent. When all you have is a hammer,...

        He is probably hoping for more clients, as opposed to offering free technical advice :)

        He's a lawyer. I've yet to meet a lawyer who is technically competent.

        When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

        court system's catching up now and there are ways and means of obtaining that information

        Sounds like he is referring to suing the VPNs via the courts to unmask the anonymous user.

        1 vote
        1. Keegan
          Link Parent
          Makes sense. All the more reason to use a service that has a no logging policy and isn't based in a 5 eyes/9 eyes/whatever country.

          Sounds like he is referring to suing the VPNs via the courts to unmask the anonymous user.

          Makes sense. All the more reason to use a service that has a no logging policy and isn't based in a 5 eyes/9 eyes/whatever country.