Google apologises over publishing Grace Millane murder accused's name

In an email Google has apologised over publishing the name of the man accused of killing British backpacker Grace Millane.

Grace Millane Source: 1 NEWS

Justice Minister Andrew Little says he has "welcomed Google’s suspension of a system which published information subject to a suppression order in the high profile [New Zealand] murder case".

"Today Google reached out with an apology and acknowledgement that fair trial rights need to be protected," Mr Little said in a statement.

"Google have offered to immediately suspend the part of the system that led to suppressed information being breached. I welcome this responsible approach by Google.

"Work on how suppression orders will be upheld in the digital age will continue. I look forward to constructive engagement with Google and other multinational tech corporations on long term solutions," Mr Little said.

After the accused's court appearance in December last year, Google sent out alerts by email to consumers of trending headlines from around the world, one included the name of the suppressed murder accused.

Today, Google announced it would no longer use trending New Zealand searches in its emails.

Ms Millane, 22, arrived in New Zealand in November last year and went missing on December 2 - her body was found a week later.

The accused denies the murder charge against him.