Naked Security: People have the right to be e-forgotten, EU court rules against Google

InsightaaS: Naked Security is a news/blog site hosted by security vendor Sophos. In this post, freelancer Lisa Vaas covers a European court’s decision requiring Google to act in response to requests from individuals to delete links or bury search results. At the heart of the ruling is the belief that “the information a search engine returns on a person “potentially concerns a vast number of aspects of his private life” that might previously never have been stitched together in the manner that search engines conveniently do – or, at least, without a search engine, a structured overview of a person’s information could only be achieved “with great difficulty”.”

Vass rightly notes that “The right to be forgotten is obviously a complicated issue.” InsightaaS believes that despite the complexity, online privacy will be an enormous issue as Millennials, whose formative years are largely available online, become sensitive to the long-term implications of broadly-accessible personal information. Search engine links are only part of the issue – in the coming Big Data era, de-anonymization will also be subject to scrutiny, and (no doubt) litigation – but they represent an important piece in an increasingly-thorny puzzle.

People have the right to be forgotten online, an EU court ruled on Tuesday.

The ruling, handed down by the European Union’s Court of Justice (ECJ), went against Google in a case concerning the removal of links to two pages published in 1998 by Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia.

The court said in its ruling that under existing EU data protection laws, search engine operators must be held responsible for processing personal data that appear on web pages published by third parties, so if the subject of a search doesn’t want said data to pop up, he or she has the right to ask that they be taken down.

From the ruling…

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