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EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online 199

Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has today ruled that Google, Bing and others, acting as internet search engine operators, are responsible for the processing that they carry out of personal data which appears on web pages published by third parties. As a result any searches made on the basis of a person's name that returns links/descriptions for web pages containing information on the person in question can, upon request by the related individual, be removed. The decision supports calls for a so-called 'right to be forgotten' by Internet privacy advocates, which ironically the European Commission are already working to implement via new legislation. Google failed to argue that such a decision would be unfair because the information was already legally in the public domain."
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EU Court of Justice Paves Way For "Right To Be Forgotten" Online

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  • by Connie_Lingus ( 317691 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @09:12AM (#46988593) Homepage

    so legislators are going to start deciding what public information search companies are able to aggregate? thanks...ill opt out of that reality.

  • Re:Censorship (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Tuesday May 13, 2014 @11:10AM (#46989699)

    How is it censorship for use by powerful people? The law doesn't even protect powerful people - the law as it stands weighs the right to privacy against the public interest and politicians are at an inherent disadvantage because the public interest weighs more heavily against them than it does your average Joe on the street.

    You'll have a hard time arguing that it's in the public interest that Joe's drug snorting photos from 20 years ago when he was young and stupid should stay up for all to see, but in contrast it's very much in the public interest to keep photos of a politician snorting drugs when they're meant to be enacting policy on drugs and narcotics policing for example.

    I'll be clear here - this is explicit in the law, this isn't just my interpretation or speculation, the law is written specifically so this is the case, therefore you're wrong to say it's only for powerful people, on the contrary, it's designed explicitly for the little guy, so that mistakes they made some time ago don't have to ruin their life, whilst making it impossible for dodgy politicians to also take advantage of it. This isn't your typical badly written and easily abused law, it's actually pretty decent. It's one of those rare exceptions.

    "The only issue is how the info is used"

    That's actually what the law does - it doesn't allow removal of say, newspaper articles. It does however allow the removal of links to such articles. The articles themselves are public record, the links to such articles are just Google making use of public record to make money pointing to the articles.

    I'm anti-censorship, but I'm also pro-privacy. This is one of those cases where they've actually got the balance right.

A committee takes root and grows, it flowers, wilts and dies, scattering the seed from which other committees will bloom. -- Parkinson