10 October 2018
In 2014, Google had requested to take down irrelevant and outdated data from its search results. At that time, the internet giant has been flooded with requests to remove millions of links to search results, which were embarrassing, compromising, and even legal facts that people would prefer to keep private.
Search engines like Google have the option to deny such requests for the sake of public interest. Due to this, two claimants identified as NT1 and NT2 took their case to UK’s high court. NT1 was convicted of conspiracy in the late 90s and served four years in prison, while NT2 was convicted for conspiracy to intercept communications and spent 6 months in jail recently. Both wanted the court to force Google to remove any links related to their convictions.
The judge, Mr. Justic Warby, ruled in favour of NT2 and stated that his crime wasn’t made in relation to customers or investors and has shown remorse since his release. However, NT1’s lawsuit was rejected and the judge stated that he continues to mislead the public.
The judge stated, “It is quite likely that there will be more claims of this kind, and the fact that NT2 has succeeded is likely to reinforce that.”
A Google spokesperson said: “We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest and will defend the public’s right to access lawful information. We are pleased that the court recognised our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case.”