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EU Court Protects “Right to be Forgotten” in Google Ruling

by Jacob Kleinman | May 14, 2014May 14, 2014 8:00 pm PDT

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The European Union Court of Justice struck a blow against Google on Tuesday in a ruling protecting the “right to be forgotten” when it comes to “irrelevant” information found online. As a result Google could be forced to delete links to data that private citizens don’t wan’t to be shared in public, potentially forcing the company to overhaul its search engine, BBC reports.

The case was brought to court after a Spanish man objected to Google search results displaying an auction notice for his repossessed home, and today’s ruling would allow Europeans to request the removal of “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” information from Google’s search results. The “right to be forgotten” was first suggested by the European Commission in 2012 in an effort to protect the privacy of citizens.

In response, Google said the ruling was “disappointing.” Google could be forced to censor its search engine, which goes directly against the company’s goal of cataloguing all the information in the world. BBC notes that other tech firms are also worried the new bill could have broader implications, while the U.K. hopes to opt-out of the ruling.

For now, the court says anyone who want to exercise this right should contact Google directly and request the links be pulled from its search results.

BBC

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Jacob Kleinman

Jacob Kleinman has been working as a journalist online and in print since he arrived at Wesleyan University in 2007. After graduating, he took a...


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