The EU court has ruled that Google must allow people the right to be forgotten. It comes after people have found results while searching their name that they do not like to appear. There is nothing to stop these results from showing up, and it can cause issues for those who are trying to protect their location, among other things.
On Tuesday, the highest court in Europe supported the people’s right to privacy to an extent. The biggest search engine will need to listen when someone asks for results to be removed. However, Google will not have to comply all the time. There is still an element of freedom of information. This ruling could expand to all search engines.
Search results create a profile for someone. This includes news articles, social media profiles and address results appearing, which affects the privacy of individuals. Under EU law, everyone has a right to privacy, but that is difficult to uphold when freedom of information is put first. Under the European privacy laws, everyone should have the right to request certain information to be removed when it is about them. This does not just apply to Google-hosted websites, but to all websites online.
However, the decision whether to remove the information or not will depend on the interest of the Internet. It is up to the person requesting the removal and the search engine to come to an agreement. In many cases, Google must allow people to be forgotten, according to the EU court, and a judge can be called in where agreements cannot be made.
There has been a lot of discussion over the right to privacy on search engines for some time. The idea that people have the right to be forgotten after some time is something that many want. Advocates would like to see outdated information removed after some time, but this new ruling covers even recent information that could help to protect people.
The biggest benefit is to those who need to protect their locations for whatever reason. However, it could lead to businesses and self-employed individuals having results removed. This is something that the search engines will need to look into and determine whether the information is in the interest of the internet. Removing negative reviews about a company could be more important for customers than protecting the privacy of a business.
Google is not happy about the decision, knowing that it will have major implications for all search engines. Al Verney, spokesperson for the search engine giant, admitted that the company will now need to assess the implications and determine the next steps forwards.
There are talks about introducing a European law that all EU states, and companies acting within those states, will need to follow. However, the EU lawmakers are still discussing their options and finding a balance between the right to privacy and freedom of information. Tuesday’s ruling is the first step towards protecting the rights of the people, with the EU saying that Google must allow people to be forgotten in search engine results in some cases.