The application of the right to be forgotten is complicated in England

The ICO has ordered Google to proceed with the de-indexation of Articles 9, relying on the right to be forgotten established in Europe since the decision of the ECJ last year. Nothing unusual at first sight: in July 2015, the search engine giant and explained he had received 283,276 claims and had responded to about 50% of them. But this last request from the ICO, the English equivalent of the CNIL, Google dislikes. Indeed, the products concerned shall bear 9 precisely on a previous case dereference which Google had submitted earlier this year following a request under the right to be forgotten.

The case is a bit complicated: during the implementation of the right to be forgotten, many applications had been sent to Google to de-index several articles that suggested a crime committed there 10 years. Following these initial requests, Google had complied and de-indexed the articles in question, but also warned the editor of the affected publications. These, contesting that decision, chose to publish new articles covering this time on the indexation operated by Google and not on the initial facts. And today these items are covered by a new demand for right to be forgotten issued by the ICO, Google is reluctant to de-index.

The right to be forgotten want to be forgotten?

What bothers the British CNIL is that the release of these new products negates the effect of the first indexation: in fact, by typing the name of the offending person in Google, we fall back on these same articles about dereferencing the media have been the target. The ICO recognizes, however, in his judgment that the articles in question are not strictly the right to be forgotten and that they have “a journalistic interest in addressing the issue of delisting”, but regrets that these back during Google searches showing the name of the complainant.

For the director of the protection authority, David Smith, the ICO’s position is clear, “We understand that the dereference links among the topics that interest newspapers. And we also understand that readers should be able to find these papers through search engines such as Google. But they should not go up during searches on the complainant’s name, ” he says. Google must now deindex items within 35 days as of 18 August. The company can still appeal the decision of the ICO.

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