Landmark ‘Right to be forgotten’ ruling against Google

Larry Page Google 

(Larry Page, CEO of Google)

A landmark ruling against Google will give people the ‘right to be forgotten’.

The American company Google has launched a service which is available from Friday. It would allow Europeans to ask Google to censor links that hold personal data. Personal data would be able to be removed from online search results. This follows the landmark EU ruling where the court gave individuals the ‘right to be forgotten’. This means that ‘irrelevant’ links and outdated data should be removed if requested, the court ruled this on the 13th May. The case concerned a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed property which was on Google results, infringed his privacy.

Google has said that people who wish to remove their personal data from online can do so by an online form. People who wish to remove their personal data would need to provide links they want removed, the country they are from and the reasoning behind their request. In addition to this, individuals will have to provide a valid photo identity.

In an interview with Financial Times, Larry Page (see picture above) warned that the court’s ruling could restrict innovation and strengthen repressive governments who restrict online communications.

Mr Page said Google will comply with the ruling and promised to be involved in the privacy debate “I wish we’d been more involved in a real debate . . . in Europe,” he said. “That’s one of the things we’ve taken from this, that we’re starting the process of really going and talking to people”.

Larry Page also said the company will try to ‘be more European’.

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