German BGH might want to reconsider that Google verdict

One should be lenient with a country when the chancellor of that country on the occasion of the visit of Obama publicly (!) states that “the internet is new to us”, but the highest court of that country might want to take a new look into the verdict that basically states Google is responsible to delete libelous search suggestions in Germany.

EU Court Of Justice Advocate General: No Right To Be Forgotten; Google Not Responsible For What It Finds

from the getting-it-right dept

For years, we’ve discussed the very troubling concept, supported by many in Europe, of a right to be forgotten, which would allow someone to require that internet sites scrub any evidence oftruthful historical events — such as a criminal conviction — if those events are embarrassing. If you believe in basic free speech rights, such a concept should be horrifying to you. Last year, we noted that a report put out by a European committee noted that it was basically technically impossibleto really enforce a right to be forgotten, but the concept is still being widely pushed.

In a key lawsuit in Europe that alleges there already is such a right, and that Google needs to somehow scrub links to information that someone finds embarrassing, the advocate-general of the European Court of Justice, Niilo Jaaskinen, has stated clearly that there is no such right under European data and privacy laws and that the courts cannot require Google to remove links under such a claim. Specifically, Jaaskinen looked at the data protection directive in the EU and found:

…the Directive does not establish a general ‘right to be forgotten’. Such a right cannot therefore be invoked against search engine service providers on the basis of the Directive, even when it is interpreted in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The rights to rectification, erasure and blocking of data provided in the Directive concern data whose processing does not comply with the provisions of the Directive, in particular because of the incomplete or inaccurate nature of the data. This does not seem to be the case in the current proceedings

Basically, there’s a right to fix misleading or incorrect data, not data that is accurate that you just don’t like.

the whole post at Techdirt and over to you, Bettina.


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