Google loses landmark 'right to be forgotten' case

Author: Kevin Holder
In: Article Published: Friday 13 April 2018


The High Court has ruled against Google in a landmark case regarding the "right to be forgotten" established by the European Court of Justice in the case of Mario Costeja Gonzalez in 2014. 

Warby J upheld the claim of an unnamed businessman who sought to have search engine results including news articles pertaining to a ten year old conviction for conspiring to intercept communications removed. His Lordship dismissed the claim of another businessman who had been convicted more than ten years ago for conspiring to account falsely, which was deemed to be a significantly more serious offence attracting a significiantly longer custodial sentence. 

Following the 2014 ECJ ruling, an Internet search engine must consider requests from individuals to remove links to freely accessible web pages resulting from a search on their name. Grounds for removal include cases where the search result(s) "appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant or excessive in the light of the time that had elapsed." Google claims that it has removed 800,000 pages from its results following "right to be forgotten" requests. The search engine provider is entitled to decline to remove pages if their continued prominence is considered to be in the public interest.

Following Warby J's judgment Google said it would accept the rulings. 


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