Wednesday, 25 April, 2018

Google 'Right to Be Forgotten' Case Lost, Must Delist Man's Crime

Judge to give ruling on Google 'right-to-be-forgotten' case Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case
Marlene Weaver | 14 April, 2018, 06:52

The man, referred to publicly only as NT2 since disclosing his name would completely undermine the objective of the court order, demanded that Google remove search results about a past crime that he had committed - conspiring to intercept communications - and for which he had served six months in jail over a decade ago.

A High Court judge's ruling on litigation featuring two businessmen who want Google to stop linking their names to media reports about past crimes will have implications for everyone, a lawyer says. "His past offending is of little if any relevance", Justice Warby wrote. NT1 was jailed for four years, while NT2 was jailed for six months.

He also took into account the submission that NT2's conviction did not concern actions taken by him in relation to "consumers, customers or investors", but rather in relation to the invasion of privacy of third parties.

Their lawyers said their claims, which were brought under data protection law and for misuse of private information, were the first of their kind to be made in England. The same judge who sided with the other businessman ruled in favor of Google in this latter case, particularly because the former's case was less serious and he had, in the opinion of the judge, reformed and shown remorse.

They took Google to court when it refused to remove the search results.

NT1 was given permission to appeal after losing his case. "We are pleased that the court recognized our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case".

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The Right to Be Forgotten can be interpreted in various ways by courts throughout Europe. He claimed that the information was no longer relevant and that it should be deleted.

Since then, Google has received requests to remove more than two million URLs from Europeans, according to a transparency report published in February.

In May 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said links to irrelevant and outdated data should be erased from searches on request.

The right to be forgotten is a legal precedent set by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014, following a case brought by Spaniard Mario Costeja Gonzalez who had asked Google to remove information about his financial history. "The crime and punishment information [about him] has become out of date, irrelevant and of no sufficient legitimate interest to users of Google search to justify its continued availability", the judge said. Now, the unnamed plaintiff will have his request honored by Google. The decision stemmed from a Spanish man's attempts to remove old links to his debt problems.

Supporters point out that the court specified Google should not remove links to information when the public's right to know about it outweighs an individual's right to privacy - for example when a politician or public figure seeks to clean online records.

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