Newscast Media MADRID, Spain—The European Court of Justice has ruled that
citizens have a right to request that Google delete their data from search results in a
case that sought to see whether private citizens could leave the engine’s grid.
In the case, which began in 2011, Spain’s data protection authority had ordered
Google to remove links to more than 100 online articles the agency considered
potentially defamatory in a move that had stoked concerns about freedom of speech
and the role of online search engines. On Tuesday, the ECJ affirmed the Spanish
Google had previously challenged the decision in a Madrid court, contending that as a
search engine it was not responsible for content that appeared on the Web. The
Spanish tribunal then sought the advice of the ECJ. Decisions by the court are
binding for the whole of the European Union.
In 2012, the European Commission had proposed that citizens be given the right to
remove themselves from search engines.
Google is also involved in a dispute with the European Union over alleged
anti-competitive practices in its search results.
Source: Radio Deutsche Welle