The EU’s new right to be forgotten on Google

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled directives in favor of the EU’s Citizen against Google.

Mario_Costeja_Gonzalez_-_Buscar_con_Google-600x900It begins on 2010, a Spanish citizen named Mario Costeja Gonzales who sued Google and asked to have links to his private data -that pointed to 1998 newspaper article that detailed his social security debts- deleted from the search results. The Spaniard claims Google has violated his data protection rights by putting an outdated and an inadequate information links.

This simple private case made its way until it comes before the ECJ and it becomes a turning point in the field of protecting individual’s privacy and personal data. Accordingly, it has enormous implications because the ECJ obliged Google to respect citizen’s requests to remove data under penalty of being enabled to continue operating in Europe. The highest court in Europe mandate that European citizens have a say in what Google can disclose in search results and at the same time, asserts that Google is technically responsible for the links it provides in its search results. Google is no longer a processor of information; it is more established as a high qualified controller of information.

In most cases, Google is complying with these new U.E. rules and will accept requests from consumers who would like to have links erased from the search engine. Nonetheless, those people have to complete a new web form of removal request, add their names and e-mail addresses and provide an explanation about how they are related to those linked pages which should be removed and why the contents of the search results are irrelevant, no longer relevant, incorrect, or inappropriate.

By the way, this new ruling will apply to all 28 countries in the European Union.

Google has the possibility to refuse certain requests if there is a particular reason to do so. However, the court has ruled in this situation that people affected by this decision can pursue legal action against Google and reach out to the relevant data protection authorities.

For that matter, Google’s Legal Team were trying to find out what will be the effects and the impacts of this ruling on the search engine and also they are trying to figure out how they will deal with the consequences of all those requests (may be in the future, people will abuse of the ruling and that will have a significant cost to handle).

In an interview with the Financial Times, CEO Larry Page “Google’s Chief Executive” said the ECJ may have a good intention by handing down this ruling but they may have got the grasp of the right to be forgotten wrong. He also said that “Google wished to be more involved during the European debate over user privacy as they have been involved in the current debate to preserve the net neutrality”. He admitted that Google is open to the conflicting issues. Moreover, Page expressed that “Google was trying to be more European in term of thinking and approach”.

In the USA, people are waiting to see how Europe will apply this new ruling and how Google will respond to thousands of links removal requests, may be with time they can secure similar rights in their country too with similar ruling. But what is for sure for some analysts is that the flow and the transparency of the internet information between countries will be effectively damaged.

Loukmane Aboussaid

 

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