People can ask Google to delete sensitive information from its Internet search results, Europe’s top court said on Tuesday.
The case underlines the battle between advocates of free expression and supporters of privacy rights, who say people should have the “right to be forgotten” meaning that they should be able to remove their digital traces from the Internet.
The ruling by the Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) came after a Spanish man complained to the Spanish data protection agency that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.
The case is one of 180 similar cases in Spain whose complainants want Google to delete their personal information from the Web. The company says forcing it to remove such data amounts to censorship…
“An Internet search engine operator is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data which appear on web pages published by third parties,” the judges said.
Americans don’t always comprehend the history in Europe that produces a greater concern over privacy than we often display. We’ve not had wars fought forth and back over our whole nation against invaders who brought fascist rule to a captive nation. We’ve not had wars across our whole nation lost to the powers of brutality that demanded subservience – since the Civil War – and the nation united won that one.
Fortunately, we live in a land confident that the two political parties will support our Constitutional rights through any confrontation with evil.