Science

Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case

Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case”

A High Court judge's ruling on litigation featuring two businessmen who want Google to stop linking their names to media reports about past crimes will have implications for everyone, a lawyer says.

Justice Warby noted in his rulings that he had ruled in favor of the one man because the judge believed that the individual involved had "shown remorse", but the judge did not accept the other petitioner's claim, because the latter had continued to "mislead the public".

Mr Justice Warby said the businessmen, who can not be named for legal reasons, complained of results returned by Google Search that feature links to third-party reports about their convictions.

Google's effort to rein in the so-called right to be forgotten has taken a hit after United Kingdom and French judges said the reputation of businessmen tarnished by old news stories about improper conduct trumped the public's need to know.

INTERNET GIANT Google has lost a landmark 'right to be forgotten' case and must now "delist" search results about a criminal conviction.

Under English law created to rehabilitate offenders, those convictions don't have to be disclosed to potential employers and can effectively be ignored.

As reported at the Guardian, the businessman who won was sentenced to six months' imprisonment for "conspiracy to carry out surveillance" and a judge ruled an "appropriate delisting order should be made" in this case. "His past offending is of little if any relevance", Justice Warby wrote.

The judge considered the businessmen's current conduct as part of his ruling.

"The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 sought to strike a balance on this thorny topic".

But courts throughout Europe are likely to interpret the right to be forgotten in different ways.

Commenting on Friday's decision, Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group said: "The right to be forgotten is meant to apply to information that is no longer relevant but disproportionately impacts a person".

"Courts should also consider the context of particular search results". In those circumstances, "the public interest in having information with his name about this case doesn't prevail". "As things disappear into the past and people don't know about them, they become part of a private life", Tomlinson, who once represented Sienna Miller in phone-hacking lawsuits against News Corp., told the court. The two United Kingdom cases are: NT1 v. Google and NT2 v. Google, High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, Case No.'s HQ15X04128 and HQ15X04127.



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