Google and European regulators have once again locked horns with regards to the "right to be forgotten" ruling, with a UK court issuing an order to the search giant for the removal of links to stories discussing the controversial ruling.
Even though Google is obligated to removes certain links about a person's misdemeanors under the "right to be forgotten" ruling (should the information be deemed "irrelevant or outdated"), any news articles that mention the individual's name and previous actions will surface when searching for the original complainant's name.
That is the crux of the latest court order from the UK's Information Commissioner's Office, which ordered Google to remove nine links that reference a specific person's minor crime. Although the links to the results detailing the minor offense were removed from Google, news stories covering the ruling and the subsequent removal of the links were discoverable by searching for the person's name, which the UK court says undermines the "right to be forgotten" ruling.
From ICO deputy commissioner David Smith:
We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about. And we understand that people need to be able to find these stories through search engines like Google. But that does not need them to be revealed when searching on the original complainant's name.
The European court ruling last year was clear that links prompted by searching on an individual's name are subject to data protection rules. That means they shouldn't include personal information that is no longer relevant.
Previously, Google refused to remove links to the news stories, stating that censorship of content is a "matter of significant public importance." With the ICO giving the search giant 35 days to comply with its order, it remains to be seen if Google changes its stance in this scenario.