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European court backs Right to be Forgotten act against Google

European court backs Right to be Forgotten act against Google

European court has asked Google to respect individuals privacy under ‘Right to be Forgotten‘ act and ruled the search engine giant to remove any data that the concerned individual brings to its notice.

What is right to be forgotten act?

Article 17 states that “The data subject shall have the right to obtain from the controller the erasure of personal data relating to them and the abstention from further dissemination of such data, especially in relation to personal data which are made available by the data subject while he or she was a child.”

In other words, at any time, a concerned person  must be able to contact the data controller (News agency, News website, Search Engine links) and request that their data be forgotten and erased.

How it all started

Earlier, Google took an individual named Mario Costeja, to court when Costeja requested the search engine to remove the data related to a notice that his property was due to be auctioned because of an unpaid welfare debt in 1998 from its search as the news were irrelevant now.

“It’s a great relief to be shown that you were right when you have fought for your ideas, it’s a joy,” Costeja said.

“If Google was great before it’s perfect now because there are game rules to go by.”

He said that “ordinary people will know where they have to go” to complain about bad or old information that turns up on a Google search.

Google spokesman Al Verney said Tuesday’s ruling was disappointing for search engines and online publishers in general. The company, he said, will “now need to take time to analyze the implications.”

Google is right to be worried though. What appears to be legitimate issue in court of law today might turned out to be redundant few years later. Google and all News publishing agencies would be tremendously covering the story today and would have archived it in their database which might seems outrageous to the individual a few years later.

I say, no one is wrong, the individual is right to demand the removal of the content and the news agency sites like Google, Facebook, Yahoo are right to cover the story. However, when they [News agency] abstain and forbid to remove old unrelated contents, then perhaps “Right to be Forgotten act” comes into play.

What do you think on the whole story?

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