Skip to main content

An MP and a paedophile: Google inundated with removal requests over “right to be forgotten”

A ruling by the EU Court of Justice earlier this week has caused considerable controversy, and that's likely to be fuelled by the news of the people who have tried to jump on the "right to be forgotten" bandwagon following the judgement.

This whole affair began when a Spanish man noticed that Google search results of his name brought up newspaper articles about the repossession of his house due to debts back in the nineties. He argued that this was old news now, and "irrelevant", and that Google should remove those links from being publicly viewable in its results because they were effectively an infringement of his privacy rights. The EU court agreed.

And now, immediately after the ruling, folks are coming forward to try and get links to what they consider outdated material concerning themselves removed from Google results – but the nature of these people is bound to cause further controversy.

One is a man convicted of possessing images of child abuse, who wants links to pages that detail his conviction removed, according to the BBC – and another a politician who's standing for re-election, and wants articles about his (presumably dodgy) behaviour when he was last in office to be "forgotten". The Beeb also mentions a doctor who has had negative reviews from patients, and wants those to be stripped from Google results.

And those are just the requests we know about, of course. There are bound to be many more.

Google is currently said to be investigating the implications of this EU ruling which it called "disappointing".

It has previously argued that this sort of thing represents censorship of the Internet, a point which the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, certainly agrees with.

As we reported yesterday, Wales called the judgement "astonishing" and said it was "one of the most wide-sweeping Internet censorship rulings that I've ever seen". Wales expects the ruling won't stand for long, and with this sort of fuel to the fire, we're betting he's right.