Will court’s decision on the “right to be forgotten” do more harm than good?

This week the European Court of Justice ruled that Google, albeit indirectly, is required to remove links to inaccurate or irrelevant search results.

According to Luca Schiovani, analyst at Ovum, “This move may sound reassuring for individuals and their personal freedom; however, it also looks difficult to enforce on a large scale, and may be very disruptive for the functioning of search engines going forward.”

Schiovani believes the decision sets a precedent whereby, upon request, search engine providers will have to update their search results when it is found that they point to information that is no longer relevant or accurate with regard to a person.

The Court has argued that, while a search engine cannot be considered as the “controller” of personal data in a third party website, it is a “controller” of the index of the search engine which links key words to the relevant URL addresses; it may technically block certain search results.

As such, it has to comply with the obligations of a “data controller” set out in the EC’s Directive on Data Protection of 1995.

“Policy makers in the EU have long advocated for the introduction of a clear “right to be forgotten”, which is included in the draft of the new Data Protection regulation under discussion in the EU Parliament and Council,” Schiovani adds.
“However, these provisions should only apply to the direct controllers of personal data (e.g. a social network complying with the request to fully delete information related to an account); involving search engines for something they are not directly responsible for is likely to entail a burdensome cost, especially if the amount of requests of erasure should escalate in the future.”

Follow Us
on Google+

Review: Huawei Ascend P7

NetGuide Chances are that you’ve heard of Huawei, they make a lot of budget smartphones. What many don’t know is that Huawei also make some pretty tasty flagship devices. I spent some time with their latest, the Ascend P7 and came away moderately impressed.   Read More →

Android App Review: St John NZ

NetGuide Apparently more than nine people go into cardiac arrest every day in New Zealand, and their chances of survival are not high. If it happened to someone near you would you know what to do to help them? Me neither, but the St John NZ app increases their chances by explaining how to do CPR in a way anyone can follow.   Read More →