ICO Orders Google To Remove Links Under Right To Be Forgotten

Aug 24, 2015

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), a UK authority that aims to uphold information rights, has ordered Google to remove nine links to news stories under the ‘right to be forgotten.’

The stories in question are said to refer to details of a “minor criminal offence” regarding an individual.

Earlier articles about this event have already been removed, but now, when the individual’s name is searched, it brings up links to press about the removal of those links.

It is stories referencing the removal of stories about the individual in question which must now be removed.

The ICO claims it got involved because Google had previously refused to remove the offending articles when asked by the individual.

The authority says that being able to access the links by searching for the complainant by name constitutes a breach of the Data Protection Act.

Journalism Vs. Individual Rights

It claims it recognises that the right to be forgotten ruling and the removal of information since is of journalistic importance, but including name and details of the original offence has an unwarranted and negative impact on their privacy.

“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,” said deputy commissioner David Smith.

“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 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,” he added.

The ICO has issued an enforcement notice requiring the links to be removed from the search within 35 days.

© 24N.biz

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