Google Privacy News: 'Right To Be Forgotten' Upheld By The EU


The EU has ordered Google to let you be 'forgotten'.

The court ruling says that an individual must have the ability to control their own data, and that Google must amend search results on request.

The decision by the European Union Court of Justice said that Google as a “processor" of information had responsibility for "irrelevant" and outdated data.

The case was brought by a Spanish man who was angered that the repossession of his house appeared when you Googled his name.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said the judgement "is a clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans".

In a post on Facebook she said: "No matter where the physical server of a company processing data is located, non-European companies, when offering services to European consumers, must apply European rules.

"The data belongs to the individual, not to the company. And unless there is a good reason to retain this data, an individual should be empowered – by law ¬ to request erasure of this data."

Google said it would take time "to analyse the implications" of the decision.

Meanwhile some campaigners said that the decision could impact the ability to report on true facts, and could affect the freedom of speech.

"The court’s ruling means that, under certain circumstances, information can be removed from search engine results even if it is true and factual and without the original source material being altered. It allows individuals to complain to search engines about information they do not like with no legal oversight. This is akin to marching into a library and forcing it to pulp books. Although the ruling is intended for private individuals it opens the door to anyone who wants to whitewash their personal history.

By placing the onus on search engines to prevent dissemination of information, the Court has said that an individual’s desires outweigh society’s interest in the complete facts around incidents."

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