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EU Court Rules that “the right to be forgotten” Trumps Free Speech

05.15.14

The highest court in the EU ruled that Google must delete information to comply with “European privacy law to heed private citizens’ requests to remove links, when requested, absent a compelling public interest in leaving them up” as reported in the New York Times. However the panel of 13 judges at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg:

…not only gave no guidance on how their ruling was to be carried out, they also gave no indication that they recognized the Pandora’s box their ruling might open.

The Washington Post reported that the case at issue:

… grew from the frustrations of a Spanish man unhappy that searches of his name featured links to a tax problem from 1998, hinged on whether the public’s right to know outweighed a private citizen’s desire to leave behind unpleasant personal history — an idea crystallized by the increasingly popular European phrase “the right to be forgotten.”

How will the 28 different EU States carry out this ruling is anybody’s guess.

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