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Date
21 May 2015

Dina Shiloh on BBC World Service talking about Right to be Forgotten one year on

Dina Shiloh featured on BBC World Service technology programme "Click" on 19 May talking about the Right to be Forgotten, one year after it was introduced.
 
On 13 May 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) handed down this controversial judgment on data protection, validating a request to remove a link on Google even if the information is true. The test is whether the information is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed and in the light of the time that has elapsed, unnecessary or irrelevant". In each case, the request to remove a link on Google has to be balanced with Google's freedom of expression and public interest in the matter.  The ECJ stressed in the judgment that the factors which should be considered are whether the right to privacy and the protection of personal data might be affected by showing particular links following a search against the name of an individual or company.
 
The Right to be Forgotten arose when a Spanish man took Google to the ECJ. In 1998 a Spanish newspaper published his name when he was forced to auction his house to cover his debts.  In 2010, a Google search of his name still led to two links to the story about him from the online archive of the newspaper, which newspaper refused to remove the story from its archive. He then complained to Google that the articles contained personal data, and asked it to remove the links to the article.  Google refused to do so, hence the case was eventually referred to the ECJ.
 
On BBC Click, Dina comments:
 
"The Right to be Forgotten is a misleading phrase because you're not really being 'forgotten'. If you featured in a US publication that fit the criteria to be removed, Google may take down that article for you in your country in Europe, but it would still be available on the publications website and on google.com (in the States). People don't need to be published in a main newspaper, they can self-publish a blog that is defamatory and this can ruin an individual's reputation, even if it's not true. The person it concerns can't go to the original publication and ask them to take it down – it's never going to happen – so the only way to try and salvage their reputation is to ask Google to de-list it, and Google doesn't always take it down, even if it's inaccurate."
 

Listen to the full podcast here.
 
Read more:
EU 'right to be forgotten': one year on