The right to be forgotten triumphs over Google
- AuthorChristopher Buck
The right to be forgotten
The right to be forgotten is essentially being entitled to having actioned your request to have your personal information removed from the search engine. The latest Google transparency report has confirmed that 89% of such requests are made by individuals.
Google’s previous stance
Previously, Google has objected to requests for the erasure of information. This has been on the basis that the EU policy is not seen to be intended to “re-write history” or “tailor your past”. As such, Google has previously been reluctant to remove personal information, in particular in relation to convictions.
In a recent erasure case regarding a man who was convicted over 10 years ago of conspiracy to intercept communications, Google’s attorney adopted the above stance, expressing that “you may have rehabilitated, but that doesn’t mean you can pretend your conviction doesn’t exist”.
In this case, the Judge has ruled that due to the actions of the plaintiff being relatively minor and him showing remorse that he should be afforded the right to be forgotten. This decision is likely to effect a precedent in respect of future cases concerning convictions being provided by search engines. It is likely that there will need to be considerations made in respect of such requests and the seriousness of the crime.
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