Google Working Out Specifics of EU's 'Right to Forget' Law

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-07-14 Print this article Print
Google legal

Earlier this month, Google began removing links to content that was deemed objectionable by subjects of the content under the rules established by the EU court. Critics however, are also making sure that their disdain for the new law is also clearly heard. The critics argue that the practice is wrongly changing and cleansing history online.

By removing the posts from the searches, Peston told the paper, history has been changed and people can't learn what truly happened. "To all intents and purposes, the article has been removed from the public record, given that Google is the route to information and stories for most people," Peston told the paper.

To comply with the "right to forget" ruling, Google has made an online form and process available for EU residents who want to request information removals about themselves.

Only residents in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are presently eligible to use the form, according to Google.

The EU's May decision was a stunning reversal of an earlier opinion by an adviser to the Court of Justice of the European Union in June 2013 that said Google should not have to delete information from its search results when old information is pulled up that is damaging to individuals.

In the 2013 case, a man in Spain had argued that Google searches of his name had uncovered a then-15-year-old announcement in a newspaper describing how a property he owned was up for auction because of nonpayment of Social Security, the court stated. The man wanted Google to remove the old information, which was damaging his reputation, according to the earlier case.

The Spanish court originally accepted the man's argument and ordered Google to remove the information from its search results. Google then appealed that decision and received the favorable opinion from the Court of Justice adviser, who ruled that the original Spanish court decision was wrong.


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