Google has been forced to remove a company from its search results by a Canadian court of law. The news comes after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) gave people the “right to be forgotten” just last month, in one of the most controversial decisions in the war between freedom of information and right to privacy.
On June 13, a court order was passed in B.C., Canada that would mean company Datalink would be removed from all Canadian Google search results. This was not from the request of the company in question. Its rival company Equustek made the request. According to the rival, Datalink has stolen its product designs by conspiring with someone who used to work for Equustek. The products were then sold online, and sales were gained from people finding the company through search results.
It seems that Equustek is not happy with the decision from the B.C. Supreme Court. It means nothing since the sales come from around the globe, indicating that the company would like the Datalink results removed from all Google search results. This was something that Justice Lauri Ann Fenlon agreed to, and now the search result giant will need to remove anything to do with Datalink from its results anywhere in the world.
The decision for the Canadian court to force Google to remove a company from all its search results is extremely controversial. According to the search giant, the court has no right to order this, as it does not have jurisdiction over operations that are not based in B.C. The Supreme Court judge decided that she does have jurisdiction since the company does business within the province. However, can she enforce the ruling around the world? She believes she can due to the nature of borderless internet.
This is the first time that Google has been given a worldwide order. In the past, courts have given a ruling based on a country. With the most recent European order, it was for countries only in the European Union. Results in the US and outside country domains will remain intact, even if results are removed from the EU country domains.
When it comes to the European court decision, it was based on outdated or embarrassing information and mainly for individuals rather than businesses. Individuals need to request to have the information removed, and the tech giant has to decide whether it is in the internet’s best interest to remove the links from the search results. The decision has face a lot of criticism, especially as pedophiles and potentially dangerous doctors have requested for their details to be removed.
So far, the results of Datalink from the Canadian domain have been removed. However, it is not removing the results from others. Fenlon has given the tech giant 14 days to remove everything or face other consequences, but the company plans to appeal the decision. It could set a dangerous precedent if the Canadian court gets its own way. Another judge may decide that the Canadian court cannot force Google to remove all results of Datalink from search results on all domains.
By Alexandria Ingham