Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case


Passing judgement on the case, Mr Justice Warby said: "It is quite likely that there will be more claims of this kind, and the fact that NT2 has succeeded is likely to reinforce that".

Mr Justice Warby told the High Court: He has not accepted his guilt, has misled the public and this court, and shows no remorse over any of these matters.

NT2 was imprisoned for six months in the early part of this century after authorizing an investigations firm to conduct computer hacking and phone tapping to find out who was engaged in hostile activity against his company.

Google has lost a "right to be forgotten" case to a man who wanted links to information about a previous conviction to be removed from the site.

"He remains in business, and the information serves the goal of minimizing the risk that he will continue to mislead, as he has in the past", the court said. 'There is no evidence of any risk of repetition.

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He also took into account the submission that NT2's conviction did not concern actions taken by him in relation to "consumers, customers or investors", but rather in relation to the invasion of privacy of third parties.

The ruling in the case of NT2 means that Google must remove search results relating to the man's convictions - something the judge was happy to rule about because of the remorse that has been shown. He claimed that the information was no longer relevant and that it should be deleted.

Google reported in February of 2018 that from the period between 2014 to 2017, the company received over 2.4 million requests to delist URLs under the right to be forgotten statute.

They contained an announcement for a real-estate auction after he got into debt.

Though European Union citizens have a legal right to request that search engines delist certain negative results about them, Google reportedly refuses over 56 percent of requests.

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Anybody can exercise their right to be forgotten via an online form. However, search engines can decline to remove pages if they judge them to remain in the public interest.

These cover nearly two-and-a-half million URLS, 49.3 per cent of which were deleted.

Proponents of the court decision say it gives individuals the possibility to restore their reputation by deleting references to old debts, past arrests and other unflattering episodes. In those circumstances, "the public interest in having information with his name about this case doesn't prevail".

Immediately after the 2014 ruling, the founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales warned that Google must not be left to "censor history", warning that would be "a very risky path to go down".

He added: "The right to be forgotten litigation requires the courts to once again consider where that balance lies, a question which has implications for us all".

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