Google Forced to Remove Company From Results by Canadian Court

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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When it comes to the European court decision, it was based on outdated or embarrassing information and mainly for individuals rather than businesses.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

Sources:

CBC

The Telegraph

PC Advisor

3 Responses to "Google Forced to Remove Company From Results by Canadian Court"

  1. Elliot Nessman   July 2, 2014 at 4:16 am

    Google has become the gatekeepers of the internet – Google more and
    more is refusing to remove links to websites, posts which cause
    irreparable harm to companies and individuals whether it be defamation
    or companies involved in illegal activity.

    By way of google’s 80%+ share of the search engine market, google has become the defacto gatekeepers of the internet. A single company with over 50 billion in
    revenues decides on behalf of the world what information is accessible
    on the internet and what is not. This is too much power for one company.
    The public should be concerned of the overbearing power that Google
    has.

    The court decision was justified in that the internet is
    limitless and worldwide and the harm to the company is impacted not only
    in Canada.

    In Dow Jones & Company Inc. v. Gutnick, [2002]
    H.C.A. 56 (10 December 2002), that same judge – Kirby J., of the High
    Court of Australia — portrayed the Internet in these terms, at para. 80:
    The
    Internet is essentially a decentralized, self-maintained
    telecommunications network. It is made up of inter-linking small
    networks from all parts of the world. It is ubiquitous, borderless,
    global and ambient in its nature. Hence the term “cyberspace”.4 This is a
    word that recognizes that the interrelationships created by the
    Internet exist outside conventional geographic boundaries and comprise a
    single interconnected body of data, potentially amounting to a single
    body of knowledge. The Internet is accessible in virtually all places on
    Earth where access can be obtained either by wire connection or by
    wireless (including satellite) links. Effectively, the only constraint
    on access to the Internet is possession of the means of securing
    connection to a telecommunications system and possession of the basic
    hardware.

    Reply
  2. mysticeye   June 22, 2014 at 7:28 am

    I sincerely hope that Google gets a very large settlement from Canada and the EU when they prove that they have lost business as people chose a new search engine with unrestricted results. It’s absurd to rule that Google must block access to the links but not yahoo, bing, ask.com, duck duck go, yandex, entireweb, blekko, gigablast, and on, and on. Then there’s the engines that search and compile data from multiple search engines – which will soon have a little checkbox at the top that says “Show me only results not listed on google”, and then what someone wanted to hide will be highlighted.

    If a company breaking patent law – go after them. If there’s a website with information that should be forgotten on it – go after them. Trying to restrict search engine results one search engine at a time is absurd, holding search engines responsible for the contents of the internet doubly so.

    Reply
  3. Mark   June 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

    And here we go, the censoring of the internet begins…

    Reply

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