Good news for European fans of “The Right to Be Forgotten”, as the European Court of Justice has backed the right to have “irrelevant” or out-dated information removed from online sources, and search results. Google is understandably unhappy, and this could also have troubling consequences regarding freedom of speech and information, but it is certainly interesting to see the ECJ backing this sort of very new “right” specifically as a response to developments in the online world.
TechCrunch contributor Andrew Keen has long argued the “Internet needs to learn to forget“, but I’m not sure this latest EU ruling is quite what he had in mind.
The European Court Of Justice has ruled that Google must respect the “right to be forgotten” and, at the request of private individuals, remove “irrelevant” and outdated information that contravenes an EU privacy directive concerning the way personal data is processed.
Naturally, Google is said to be “furious” and disappointed by the court’s decision.
The landmark case involves a Spanish national who, as far back as 2010, lodged a complaint with Spain’s data protection agency, arguing that a national newspaper and Google were infringing his right to privacy.
Specifically, when entering his name into the search engine, the list of results would display links to two pages of La Vanguardia’s newspaper containing an announcement for a real-estate auction organised…
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