The European Union’s “Right to be Forgotten” law which passed last year requires Google – and other search engines – to remove results at the request of individuals. Now the UK’s ICO (Independent Commission Office) has ordered Google to remove nine links to stories about the “Right to be Forgotten” law.
The links the search giant has been ordered to remove pertain to stories about an individual who committed a minor criminal offence. Google had originally removed links to stories about the actual criminal offense in question. However, those removals sparked media stories about Google having to remove those links – stories which contained the individual’s name and details of the crime he had committed. Having been previously asked to remove those links, Google denied the request stating that the articles in question related to its decisions to delist a search result. As a result, the ICO has ordered the company to remove those links and given them 35 days to comply or be faced with a fine.
Deputy Commissioner David Smith said: “The European court ruling last year was clear that links prompted by searching on an individual’s name are subject to data protection rules. That means they shouldn’t include personal information that is no longer relevant.
“Google was right, in its original decision, to accept that search results relating to the complainant’s historic conviction were no longer relevant and were having a negative impact on privacy. It is wrong of them to now refuse to remove newer links that reveal the same details and have the same negative impact.”
“Let’s be clear. We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about. And we understand that people need to be able to find these stories through search engines like Google. But that does not need them to be revealed when searching on the original complainant’s name.”
What do you think about the ICO ordering Google to remove these links from European search results? Let us know in the comments below, or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.