Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case

Two businessmen believe their names should not be linked to past crimes

He was jailed for four years for conspiracy to account falsely in the late 1990s (a more serious offense than NT2), but has been granted the right to appeal.

"Spent convictions are rather different".

The businessman, who can not be named due to reporting restrictions, was convicted over a decade ago for conspiring to intercept communications.

"We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest", Google said in a statement. "We are pleased that the court recognized our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case". A Google search brings up the information "through a few key strokes", undermining the law about such older convictions where a defendant has paid his debt to society, Hugh Tomlinson, a lawyer for one of the businessmen, said at an earlier court hearing.

Mr Justice Warby told the High Court: He has not accepted his guilt, has misled the public and this court, and shows no remorse over any of these matters.

Their claims were based, he said, on the "right to be forgotten", or "more accurately" the right to have personal information "delisted" or "de-indexed" by the operators of internet search engines.

What is the right to be forgotten?

. The company's attorney argued that the European Union policy wasn't intended as a "right to rewrite history" or "tailor your past", and adding that you may have rehabilitated, but doesn't mean that you can prevent any of your convictions never existed. He claimed that the information was no longer relevant and that it should be deleted. It has no control over information on external websites.

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RTBF was established through a 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice.

Google had refused to remove the links, leading NT2 and another man known as NT1 to take the company to court.

Anybody can exercise their right to be forgotten via an online form. However, search engines can decline to remove pages if they judge them to remain in the public interest.

Google reported in February of 2018 that from the period between 2014 to 2017, the company received over 2.4 million requests to delist URLs under the right to be forgotten statute.

These cover nearly two-and-a-half million URLS, 49.3 per cent of which were deleted.

Immediately after the 2014 ruling, the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales warned that Google must not be left to "censor history", warning that would be "a very risky path to go down".

The balance may depend, the ECJ ruled "on the nature of the information in question and its sensitivity for the data subject's private life and on the interest of the public in having that information, an interest which may vary, in particular, according to the role played by the data subject in public life".

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