Google To Adhere To The Right To Be Forgotten Law

Published 14 May 2014 by Alice Flook, CANDDi
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A judgement by the European Union Court of Justice has ruled that Google must adhere to the “right to be forgotten” law after a case was brought to the courts.

This was a complaint made by Mario Costeja González against Google for infringing on his individual privacy by refusing to delete outdated personal data.

The EU Court has ruled that an individual has the right to have personal and irrelevant information removed by online service providers. This comes after the 2012 law was passed allowing people to request data about themselves to be deleted. The EU law dictates that search engines must be compliant with the protection of personal data, providing individuals with the right to request information to be deleted.

This judgement was supported by EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, who felt it was a victory for the protection of personal data.

Reding believes “the ruling confirms the need to bring today’s data protection rules from the “digital stone age” into today’s modern computing world,” yet there are those that disagree with this result.

Google described the ruling as disappointing and an example of further censorship that could potentially violate the internet’s freedom of expression. The search engine argues that they only offer links to information that is existent on the internet and does not control the data.

This is supported by both the campaign group Index on Censorship who likened it to “marching into a library and forcing it to pulp books” and the UK’s Ministry of Justice, who wish to opt out of this law due to the unrealistic expectations. Some feel that this ruling will have severe implications on the search engine and tech firms. “It allows individuals to complain to search engines about information they do not like with no legal oversight” says Censorship.

The issue we have is: who decides what information is irrelevant and can be removed? A question that tech companies have been left asking.

We want to hear your thoughts.

Alice Flook
Who, what, when, now.

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