Sunday, May 18, 2014

EU Court of Justice Allows Individuals to Demand Google remove Search Results Containing their Names

In a surprising international decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union decided that Google must delete links to a person's name in search results if asked and the information is outdated or irrelevant.  A Spanish man googled his name and objected to the search results, which linked to a 1998 newspaper notice of an auction connected to attachment proceedings for the recovery of social security debts.  He started by suing the newspaper to remove the public notice, which was denied.  His complaint against Google Spain and Google was upheld, however.   So the notice could remain on the newspaper site, but access to it through Google was prohibited. It will be up to the European Union data privacy officials in each member state to oversee the removal of links. 

Reactions to controversial ruling were plentiful.  Many saw it as a threat to the free flow of information, while others saw it as upholding, the "right to be forgotten."