India Supreme Court concludes that Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo violate sex determination laws

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India has laws governing medical procedures and products meant to determine the sex of a fetus, intended to help avoid abortions conducted to avoid the birth of a given sex. As CNET has reported, the major search engines have been determined by the Indian Supreme Court to have violated these laws by serving up ads for sex determination tools, kits, and clinic.

According to CNET:

Lawyers from the companies insist that resolving the Court’s issue is not technically feasible, adding that blocking all such keywords will also affect content that is only remotely related to the topics, The Economic Times reports.

The apex court is having none of it, going as far as to suggest the companies leave India entirely if they are unable to resolve such issues.

“You have to do something about this [such ads on search engines]. This has become a social evil,” Justice Dipak Misra said. “You have to abide by the law. You can’t say that you are not technically equipped. If you say you are, get out of the market.”

The Indian Supreme court has given the companies 10 days to confer with technical experts and determine methods for eliminating the offending ads. As expected, none of the companies have responded. We’ll be keeping our eye on this development, and let us know in the comments what you think of the challenges that search companies face in meeting the regulatory requirements of so many different jurisdictions.