Google has angered a privacy expert by repeatedly identifying him as a “dwarf character actor” famous for playing a winged monkey in The Wizard of Oz.

Google faces winged-monkey privacy protest. PHOTO: BBC

Pat Walshe told BBC News he had had the issue resolved twice, only to discover last week it had happened again.

The issue involves his photo being run next to text from another source about a dead American who had the same name.

He now aims to make an official complaint to data privacy watchdogs. Google has once again fixed the flaw.

A day after BBC News raised the matter, Mr Walshe’s photo had been removed from the “knowledge box” near the top of Google’s search results.

The US company has not explained or apologised for the mistake.

But a spokeswoman said she did not believe the correction had been made as a result of BBC News’s intervention.

Mr Walshe said he had first flagged the problem several years ago and then again in February of this year, after which he had hoped the issue had been resolved for good.

It was only when he discussed the matter at a conference in Berlin and another attendee carried out a Google Search that he realised one of his profile images had again been linked to an unrelated Wikipedia entry.

“Everybody felt it was funny,” he said.

“But what if the text’s biography was that of someone who had committed a terrible crime?

“That could have consequences for me in an age of artificial-intelligence-driven decision-making, for example.”

Google provides a way to for users to “suggest changes” but Mr Walshe said he had ultimately had to resort to personal contacts to have the matter addressed in the past.

Vanguard News Nigeria.


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