13 June 2018
On April 13, 2018, Google Inc. lost a landmark case, when a U.K. High Court judge ordered Google to delete information about one of two claimants. The right to erasure (or the “right to be forgotten”) has become a major concept in European law since the European Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that inadequate or irrelevant data should be erased from the internet upon request. In the current case, two persons asserted their right to erasure by suing Google after Google refused a demand to remove search results featuring third party publications about the persons' past convictions. The U.K. court ruled in favor of one of the claimants, explaining that his criminal information lacked sufficient legitimate interest to Google users to justify its continued availability. The court ruled against the other claimant by stating that he posed a risk of repeated wrongdoing given his lack of remorse and continued efforts to mislead the public over his conviction. Following the judgment, Google announced that it will continue to work to comply with the “right to be forgotten” rules while balancing efforts to defend the public's right to access lawful information. Google has experienced a dramatic rise in erasure requests immediately following the recent judgment. For more information, see http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/QB/2018/799.html (NT 1 & NT 2 v Google LLC) and http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document_print.jsf?doclang=EN&text=&pageIndex=0&part=1&mode=DOC&docid=152065&occ=first&dir=&cid=667631 (Google Spain SL, Google Inc., v Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD), Mario Costeja González).