Internet censors at the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office have ordered Google to censor links to recent news articles that highlight censorship under Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’.The censors have ordered the removal of nine links to current news stories about right to be forgotten censorship that effectively re-connect to information ordered ‘forgotten’.
The search engine had previously removed links relating to a 10 year-old criminal offence by an individual after requests made under the right to be forgotten ruling. Removal of those links from Google’s search results for the claimant’s name spurred new news posts detailing the removals, which were then indexed by Google’s search engine.
Google refused to remove links to these later news posts, which included details of the original criminal offence, despite them forming part of search results for the claimant’s name, arguing that they are an essential part of a recent news story and in the public interest.
Google now has 35 days from the 18 August to censor the links from its search results for the claimant’s name. Google has the right to appeal to the General Regulatory Chamber against the notice.
Deputy chief censor David Smith said:
The European court ruling last year was clear that links prompted by searching on an individual’s name are subject to data protection rules. That means they shouldn’t include personal information that is no longer relevant.
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.