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Europe's top court orders Google to forget

Loek Essers | May 14, 2014
Google and other search engine providers can be ordered to delete links to outdated information about a person published on the Internet, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled Tuesday.

Because the issue had since been resolved, Costeja González asked the data protection agency to either order the newspaper to remove or alter the pages or order it to block search engines from indexing the pages. He also requested that Google would be ordered to remove or conceal the indexed link from the search results so it would no longer be displayed when someone searched for him on Google, the court said.

While the AEPD rejected the complaint against the newspaper, it did order Google to delete the data from its index. Google subsequently asked Spain's National High Court to annul the decision and that court referred the case to the Court of Justice.

The court ruled that Google and other search engine operators are in certain cases can be obliged to remove links to third party web pages that contain information relating to a person. Search engines also can be ordered to do so if the when the publication in itself is lawful, the court said.

In the case of Costeja González, the court found that the information displayed by Google about him had become inadequate and irrelevant over time. Therefore, Google was ordered to erase the links.

 

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