U.K. Orders Google To Kill Links to ‘Right-To-Be-Forgotten’ Stories

EuropeEUs EUright to be forgottenEU movement has reared its head to bite Google yet again. This time, the United KingdomEUs Information CommissionerEUs Office (ICO) has ordered the tech giant to remove links to news stories about removing links to comply with European Union law.

The ICO issued its order after the organization ruled that the search results in question link to information about a person that is no longer relevant. The links are to Web pages that include details of a minor criminal offense committed by an individual almost 10 years ago, according to the organization. Google had previously removed other links relating to the offense at the request of the individual in question, the government said.

Unwarranted and Negative Impact on Privacy

So far, so good. Google responded to the individualEUs request in compliance with EU regulations. The problem arose after the individualEUs request and the removal of the links became a news story in its own right, generating an entirely new round of stories online that, you guessed it, Google linked to. Anyone who did a search on the name of the individual in question would find links to recent news stories describing the original crime.

The individual then asked Google to remove links to the new stories that had been written in response to the original request. Google refused, arguing that the articles were primarily about the companyEUs response, and were therefore an essential part of a recent news story relating to a matter of public interest.

The ICO didn't agree. The agency said that while it recognized the journalistic content of the decisions to delist search results may be newsworthy and in the public interest, that did not justify including links to information about an individual's crime, since it would have an unwarranted and negative impact on that...

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