Google Summoned to Remove Links to Articles About ‘Forgotten’ Articles

The U.K.’s data privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner Office (ICO), has moved in on Google and the Right to be Forgotten, and ordered that it removes nine links to articles about articles that have already been ‘forgotten’.

Why bother, you ask? Well. Rights and privacy, and also because they link a man to a minor crime that was carried out a decade ago. This is the point of the Right to be Forgotten. Google and others are supposed to take down links to stories and articles about people that the subjects want removed. The issue here is the internet, journalism, Google and people in general.

Google has dropped links relating to the original article already, but when things hit the internet they tend to stick. The problem is that, when the individual’s name is inserted into a search, it brings up links to other stories about the incident.

This could be bothersome. The ICO wants to nip it off, at least in this instance. This could mean that articles about articles about incidents that have been ‘forgotten’ will have to be forgotten. Let’s see how the ICO puts that.

“Google was right, in its original decision, to accept that search results relating to the complainant’s historic conviction were no longer relevant and were having a negative impact on privacy,” said assistant commissioner David Smith.

“It is wrong of them to now refuse to remove newer links that reveal the same details and have the same negative impact.”

“Let’s be clear. We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about. And we understand that people need to be able to find these stories through search engines like Google. But that does not need them to be revealed when searching on the original complainant’s name.”

The search giant has 35 days to take down the links. 

Google does not take talk about increasing the scale of the right too well and just recently resisted the opportunity to consider applying the mechanism to the .com domain. 

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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