Magazine article Information Management

Google Must Honor "Right to Be Forgotten" in EU

Magazine article Information Management

Google Must Honor "Right to Be Forgotten" in EU

Article excerpt

If you live in the European Union, you may be able to rewrite history after all.

The European Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union, ruled in June that European users should have the right to be forgotten on the Internet. It decided there are certain cases in which Google and other Internet entities should help online users to be "forgotten" after a certain time by erasing links to web pages referencing them "unless there are particular reasons, such as the role played by the data subject in public life, justifying a preponderant interest of the public." Thus, Google and other Internet companies could be "obliged to remove web pages" even if the original "publication in itself on those pages is lawful" should a European user so petition.

If the provider doesn't grant a user's direct request to remove the link to the offending information, the user can take the matter to the appropriate authorities to force the removal, under certain conditions, at the Internet company's expense. The officials will determine how the removal of links could affect the "legitimate interest of Internet users potentially interested in having access to that information" and the individual's fundamental rights to privacy and to protection of personal data. The decision depends on the "nature of the information in question and its sensitivity for the data subject's private life and on the interest of the public in having that information, an interest which may vary, in particular, according to the role played by the data subject in public life," observed the court. …

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