A businessman has won a legal battle against Google in the UK High Court for the ?right to be forgotten?
A businessman who spent 6 months in jail 10 years ago requested that search engine Google remove all search results about his past crime from the site. He believes that news articles and any other results regarding his conviction are no longer relevant and said that the search results were having an impact on his life. Google denied his request as they argued his conviction was still in the public interest.
The ?right to be forgotten? is a legal precedent set by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014. It allows a person to request for search results about them to be removed from any search engine within reason. Google claim they have removed over 800,000 pages from results in response to the ?right to be forgotten? requests however they can decline if they believe the results to still remain in the public interest.
There?s large debate to whether or not a person should have the right to be forgotten, with a lot of people arguing that the public have the right to access information. They also argue that it can affect the internet?s quality due to censorship and that removing results is almost ?rewriting? history.
On the other hand, the right to be forgotten gives a person the opportunity of a fresh start, a release from petty crimes committed so far in the past you could argue they are no longer relevant. The right to be forgotten can also protect individuals, many right to be forgotten cases are immediately accepted by search engines when the results are related to revenge pornography.
The judge ruled in favour of the businessman this week, meaning Google will have to remove results related to the businessman?s past crimes. In a similar case ran by the same judge, a man was denied the right to be forgetton. The judge explained that his ruling was based on the seriousness of both crimes, he also explained that the businessman had shown remorse while the other man continued to mislead the public.