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article imageGoogle loses the 'right to be forgotten' case

By Tim Sandle     Apr 14, 2018 in Internet
London - An unnamed businessman has won a battle in the U.K. courts against Google over the 'right to be forgotten' in relation to mentions on the world's biggest search engine.
The man, who cannot be named and for whom no details have been revealed other than he is involved with an unspecified business and that he was seeking all search results about an unspecified past crime to removed from the search engine, has won his case against Google. The other details that emerged, as the BBC has reported, were that the man was convicted around ten years ago and that the conviction had something to do with conspiring to intercept communications. For this, the man spent six months in jail.
The decision in favor of the man was taken by a judge - Mr Justice Mark Warby - in the U.K. However, the judge also ruled against a separate businessman who was allegedly involved in a more serious crime, meaning that for the second plaintive the 'right to be forgotten' (digitally, at least) was not approved.
The man who was successful had been seeking for Google to remove all search results about his conviction, such as inks to news articles. His case for doing so was because the past crime was no longer of relevance. The man had made a request to Google, which the company had refused. Based on this, the man took caught action.
The right to be forgotten is a concept put into practice in both the European Union in 2006. The issue arises from desires of individuals to "determine the development of their life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past", as Computer Law and Security review summarizes. Under this law, company's Google will agree to requests provided they are not seen as being in the public interest. In the case of the businessmen, Google deemed their past cases to be of legitimate public interest. Hence the subsequent court cases.
Following the ruling, Google has said that it will abide by the ruling and that the man will be, at least via Google's search engine, 'forgotten'. In a statement, Google said, as quoted by The Guardian: "We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest and will defend the public’s right to access lawful information. We are pleased that the court recognized our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case."
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