Google loses historic 'right to be forgotten case' in Britain

Google said it would

Google said it would"respect the judgment made in the case | Lluis Gene AFP via Getty Images

The judge announced his decisions in the two cases, which were both contested by Google, following separate High Court trials. He spent four years in jail.

Their lawyers said their claims, which were brought under data protection law and for misuse of private information, were the first of their kind to be made in England.

The claimant who lost, referred to only as NT1 for legal reasons, was convicted of conspiracy to account falsely in the late 1990s; the claimant who won, known as NT2, was convicted more than 10 years ago of conspiracy to intercept communications.

"At the heart of these cases is the simple question of whether a person's online past should be allowed to follow them around forever - the Court's decision is essential reading in understanding how the "right to be forgotten" operates", said Nick McAleenan, a partner in media and data privacy law at JMW Solicitors.

In the NT1 case, which dates back to the 1980s, the man loaned money to businesses and individuals with the funds coming from the company at the heart of a false accounting conspiracy, according to the judgment. Permission to appeal was granted in his case. The court also said the information was relevant to his current career and life. He remains in business, and the information serves the objective of minimising the risk that he will continue to mislead, as he has in the past.

However, the judge ruled out any damages payment.


He spent six months in jail but his crime will now be omitted from Google's search engine. 'There is no evidence of any risk of repetition. "There is no real need for anybody to be warned about that activity".

"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 and will defend the public's right to access lawful information", the spokesperson said.

The Right to Be Forgotten can be interpreted in various ways by courts throughout Europe.

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. He claimed that the information was no longer relevant and that it should be deleted. It has no control over information on external websites. He had asked for the deletion of three search results which mentioned his conviction.

The site must now remove historical articles about the man having committed crimes in his past.

"That held good until the internet and Google's powerful search engine rather undid matters". The Alphabet Inc. unit must remove information about a person on request if it's outdated or irrelevant under a 2014 European Union top court ruling.

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