Google is now facing legal action from the information watchdog after rejecting demands from individuals seeking to enforce their 'right to be forgotten' on the internet.
The European Court of Justice ruled a year ago that individuals can ask Google and other internet companies to delete links from their search engines if they point to inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive information about them.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is at odds with Google over its handling of at least 35 cases involving individuals connected to Britain.
European regulators are calling for the 'right to be forgotten' ruling to apply to search engines worldwide, not just in Europe. However, this proposal has been met with fierce opposition.
The 'right to be forgotten' is not absolute and must be balanced against other fundamental rights, such as freedom of expression and of the media.
Today marks exactly one year since the European Union’s top court made the groundbreaking decision to give people the "right to be forgotten" online – and controversy over the issue shows no sign of abating. On 13 May 2013, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that internet search engines must remove information deemed "inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive" for the purposes of data processing, or face a fine. The ruling came after a Spanish citizen took Google to the ECJ, because he wanted a newspaper article about his insolvency to be "forgotten" by Google and no longer listed on the search engine.