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EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten' 153

NapalmV sends this news from the BBC: "The European Union Court of Justice said links to 'irrelevant' and outdated data should be erased on request. The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google's search results infringed his privacy. Google said the ruling was 'disappointing.'" The EU Justice Commissioner said, "Companies can no longer hide behind their servers being based in California or anywhere else in the world. ... The data belongs to the individual, not to the company. And unless there is a good reason to retain this data, an individual should be empowered — by law — to request erasure of this data." According to the ruling (PDF), if a search provider declines to remove the data, the user can escalate the situation to a judicial authority to make sure the user's rights are being respected.
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EU Court Backs 'Right To Be Forgotten'

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  • by dskoll ( 99328 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @09:11PM (#46995335) Homepage

    It's one thing to get Google to take down a link to information that can be used for identity theft, or to information that is libelous, or to information that can put you in harm's way.

    The plaintiff in this case, however, wanted Google to take down information that was absolutely true and in no way useful for identity theft. He just wanted the information taken down because he didn't like it. There's no way Google should have been forced to do that.

  • Re:Why nefarious? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Cytotoxic ( 245301 ) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @07:19AM (#46997641)

    Your example is pretty much the case that came before the court. Some lawyer went through a messy divorce and it and all the financial fallout hit the news. Since it was the most newsworthy thing he'd ever done, it was the topic of the search results on his name even years later. The articles are still live at the newspaper sites. The court isn't ordering them to take them down. They are just saying that Google can't point to the articles.

    This is very bizarre. I suppose they see the book burning metaphor, so they won't force the library to take the book off the shelf and burn it. But they will force the library to remove it from the card catalog.

    I understand not wanting some upskirt picture from when you were 22 years old to be the first thing people see about you when you are in your 40's and your kids are in middle school, but the EU's solution is terrible.

    Charles Manson might be pretty tired of being tied to events of 40 years ago. So might Roman Polanski. That doesn't mean the government should be able to force a company like Google to corrupt their search results.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI