Monday, 21 January, 2019

Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case

Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case
Theresa Hayes | 14 April, 2018, 04:04

The ruling in the case of NT2 means that Google must remove search results relating to the man's convictions - something the judge was happy to rule about because of the remorse that has been shown.

He spent six months in jail but his crime will now be omitted from Google's search engine. The ruling pointed out that this father-of-four didn't profit financially from the violations and was at risk of losing his job again unless the articles were brought down in search results with his name. The judge also said that there was no "plausible suggestion" that "there is a risk that this wrongdoing will be repeated by the claimant".

Mr Justice Warby has made orders barring the men from being identified in media reports about the litigation.

The other businessman, who lost his case, was convicted more than 10 years ago of conspiring to account falsely.

The court refused to award damages to the businessman, saying Google took reasonable care in the case.

A High Court judge agreed, in a major blow to Google, who had fought the case.

"We are pleased that the Court recognised our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgements they have made in this case".

But the move has sparked concerns about news stories and other previously public information being hidden.

In 2014, the European Court of Justice, the supreme court of the European Union, had ruled that people and corporations had a right to request the "delisting" of information on search engines that is "inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive", but that public interest also had to be considered.

"There is an inherent tension between an individual's right to privacy and what information the public interest requires be available", said solicitor Ben Rose, who is based at law firm Hickman & Rose. And for the record, Google keeps a sh*tload of your data, too.

Google contested the two claims, which were heard in separate High Court trials in London. "They may have to weigh the seriousness of crimes and the convict's willingness to reform", the site said. Some advocates celebrated the court's decision, calling it a win for people with criminal records who face discrimination due to their past misdeeds.

Both men were challenging Google's refusal to remove some links which contained information about their criminal past.

What is the right to be forgotten?

Anybody can exercise their right to be forgotten via an online form. The tech company says it has removed more than 800,000 pages so far. Some free speech advocates have argued that could infringe upon the U.S. Constitution.