EU rules: People have the right to be forgotten

2014-05-13 14:39
A Google logo is seen on a wall at the entrance of the Google offices in Brussels. (Georges Gobet, AFP)

A Google logo is seen on a wall at the entrance of the Google offices in Brussels. (Georges Gobet, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Brussels - The EU's top court, in a surprise ruling on Tuesday, said that individuals do have the right to ask US internet giant Google to delete personal data produced by its ubiquitous search engine.

Taking up a complaint concerning a Spanish citizen, the European Court of Justice said individuals have this right "to be forgotten", under certain circumstances when their personal data becomes outdated or inaccurate.

Specifically, this applies when such data "appear to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purpose for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed".

This was based on the finding that under current data protection norms in the EU, "an internet search engine operator is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data".

There was no immediate response from Google but the company, which dominates the internet search industry, has previously argued that it is responsible only for finding the information.

Legal dispute

As long as this is correct and legal, and therefore properly part of the public record, it believes it should not be obliged to delete such data, which it argues amounts to "censorship".

Tuesday's ruling came as a surprise because in 2013 a top ECJ lawyer had argued that Google was not responsible for the data carried by websites appearing on its search engine and that EU citizens did not have a "right to be forgotten" in the digital world.

That opinion had suggested the ECJ would rule accordingly in due course.

The case centres on a Spanish national who went to court because the personal details of his involvement in a debt recovery operation continued to appear on the online version of a Spanish newspaper long after the legal dispute had been resolved in favour of the plaintiff.

Spain's data protection agency, the AEPD, found that the newspaper was not at fault because the information was correct at the time. However, it upheld the complaint against Google, asking it to delete the material from its search results.

When Google appealed, Spain sought guidance from the ECJ to resolve the issue.

European Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding proposed in 2012 that a "right to be forgotten" be included in EU legislation on data protection to meet concerns it was not adequate given the pace of technology change.

Personal data protection has become an even more sensitive issue with revelations of massive US and other intelligence service snooping.
Read more on:    google  |  internet  |  online privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.