This Thursday, the search giant has been ordered by the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office, to remove 9 search results from the Google Search Engine records, and provided a deadline of exactly 35 days, since the results shows irrelevant information about the criminal conviction.
This Thursday’s, order would necessarily provide an example for other countries of where to draw the line between the public’s right to know and privacy – Right to be Forgotten. According to reports, the case concerns a person convicted for a petty crime about a decade ago.
As soon as Google removed the link of the story of conviction, it got saved in the notification of the original publication and several other outlets soon picked up the story. Google was told to remove those new links as well, but Google refused to remove those links saying that those links were on a different case.
Ed Black, President & CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association mentioned in a statement as,
“This latest ruling shows that we have an expanding ability to censor what is on the web. The effort to selectively take down and hide information, which is in the public domain, is a dangerous precedent that can be used globally.”
In the meanwhile, Information Commissioner’s Office disapproves the idea and logic, which the search engine giant provides. Except the name of the person and other public interest, the rest of the things can be easily satisfied with Google searches, in the right to be forgotten. Deputy Commissioner at the ICO commented that it is understandable that link removal due to court ruling is something that newspapers will want to put in as a subject; but, that does not need them to reveal the complainant’s name at all.
When links are removed, Google insists on notifying websites and this made the removals to become public. Google has almost 90% of the market share of search in Europe and hence 28 countries of Europe were granted permission to apply for removal of outdated data from the search engine by its “right to be forgotten” ruling.
Though, no details of the individual or the publication are named by the ICO, some case details and sentence received by the individual are given by them. However, the details seem to be a case of 2006 from Oxford Mail, about a man convicted of shoplifting. After that, Google removed the links from the search engines. But in the same time, several lists of articles regarding the incident were appeared, after Google removed the links.
Deputy Commissioner David Smith said,
“Google was right, in its original decision, to accept that search results relating to the complainant’s historic conviction were no longer relevant … It is wrong of them to now refuse to remove newer links that reveal the same details and have the same negative impact. We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about,”
Google made no comments, while ICO also did not confirm or identify the case, but the Computer and Communications Industry Association blasted the UK’s decision. Mr. Black commented that, people in this globe has all rights to censor, what information regarding them should appear on the Internet, and if not, it will cause a huge issue in this globe.
Now, the fact is that some convicted criminals have successfully attempted to erase all trace of their deeds from the public eye and if Google does not take any strict step very soon then something worse can happen in near future. Google must make changes to the rules and regulations of “right to be forgotten” and “removed notification.”