Tech giants Google has lost a case against a businessman who is fighting for the “right to be forgotten.” The man has won the case in a UK High Court action against Google over some damnable records on the search engines.
The unnamed plaintiff wanted search results about a past crime he had committed removed from Google’s search engine.
In a rolling in his favour, the judge, Mr Justice Mark Warby rejected a separate claim made by another businessman who had committed a more serious crime.
The victorious plaintiff was convicted 10 years ago of conspiring to intercept communications. He spent six months in jail.
The other plaintiff who wasn’t so lucky lost his case. He had been convicted more than 10 years ago of conspiring to account falsely. He spent four years in jail.
Both businessmwn had died a suite ordering Google to remove search results and links to news about their convictions which they say are no longer relevant.
They had approached Google to remove the search results but the tech giants refused, nessesitating the court action.
Google has said it will accept the court’s rulings.
“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,” it said in a statement.
“We are pleased that the Court recognised our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgements they have made in this case.”
The outcome of this case sets a dangerous legal precedent for Google’s business model which thrives upon openness of data.
Google says it has removed over 800,000 pages from its results following “right to be forgotten” requests. However, search engines can decline to remove pages if they judge them to remain in the public interest.
Explaining the decisions made on Friday, the judge said one of the men had continued to “mislead the public” while the other had “shown remorse”.
The Open Rights Group, which campaigns for internet freedoms, said the rulings set a “legal precedent”.
“The right to be forgotten is meant to apply to information that is no longer relevant but disproportionately impacts a person,” said Jim Killock, executive director.
“The Court will have to balance the public’s right to access the historical record, the precise impacts on the person, and the public interest.”