May 15, 2014 By

Strike out ‘Data’: EU Court Puts Google in the Soup


The European Court Of Justice on Tuesday ruled that an individual could demand that “irrelevant”, “inadequate “or “outdated” information be removed from the search results of Google. The court backed the “Right to be forgotten” policy asserting that search engine such as Google must be regarded as a “data controller” under the data protection laws in those EU countries where it establishes a branch to promote and sell advertising.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales described the ruling as “astonishing” and said that he expected Google to fight back. Wales said that it was “one of the most wide-sweeping internet censorship rulings that I’ve ever seen”. Google said that it was “disappointing for search engines and online publishers” and that it was analyzing the implications of the decision.

The test case privacy ruling by the court of justice against Google Spain was brought up by a Spanish man named Mario Costeja Gonzalez, who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home dating from 1998 on Google’s search results infringed his privacy. He had failed to secure the deletion of the notice on the website of a mass circulation newspaper in Catalonia. The court ruled that under existing EU data protection laws, Google has to erase links to two pages on the specified website from the results that are produced when Costeja González’s name is put into the search engine.



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