The European Court on 13 May 2014 ruled that Google must amend some of its search results at the request of ordinary people when they show links to outdated, irrelevant information.
The court decision will allow individuals the right to ask internet search engines to remove links to information about them that they do not want to be known. This is because such availability of irrelevant and outdated information would be an attack on free speech and right to privacy.
The Court said that Google and other search engines do have control of private information of individual, given that they sometimes compile and present links to it in a systematic way.
Under European law, the individuals have a right to control over their private data (especially if they are not public figures). If the individual want to remove irrelevant or wrong personal information about them forgotten from search engine results, they have the right to request to remove from the search engines even if the information was legally published.
The case was referred to the European court by appeal court of Spain, Audiencia Nacional, which has fielded 200 such complaints.
The leading case was from Mario Costeja from Spain. He argued that on searching his name on Google he found an auction notice related to his home which was used to settle the Social Welfare Debt. Although he has settled the debt long back and hence the reference should be removed.
Who: European Court
When: 13 May 2014