Google challenging the Right to be Forgotten
The BBC recently reported on Google's historic Right to be Forgotten court challenge. For some years now, it has been possible to apply to Google to break the link to search results which contain information which is irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate.
A businessman who had received a criminal conviction in the 1990s, made an application to Google for the right to be forgotten. If the application had been successful, search results relating to his conviction would have been blocked on Google. The conviction is spent under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. When Google refused the application the businessman decided to challenge Google’s decision in the civil courts.
The outcome of this decision will be watched closely by Solicitors dealing with this type of application on behalf of clients. Judith Thompson, Partner and reputation management solicitor at Samuels Solicitors based in Devon says: “it is all too easy for Google to state the public interest as a reason for not breaking the link to unwanted search results, even when convictions are spent. This cannot be right, particularly where those individuals would not have any obligation to disclose spent convictions to a prospective new employer for example”.
If you are concerned about search results which appear about you online, contact us today for a discussion about how we can assist. We have a great deal of experience of making applications for clients for the Right to be Forgotten, as well as appeals to the Information Commissioner's Office when Google has declined an application.
We are able to work on a fixed fee basis so that there will be no nasty surprises later on.
UPDATE: since the publication of this article, the businessman in question has won his right to be forgotten case which widens the scope for the removal of unwanted search results from the internet.