Google told by German court that removing a link means REMOVING it

Eu flag with books and gavel

Google is given a warning by German court for not completely removing search links from ‘right to be forgotten requests’

A court in Munich, Germany has issued an injunction against Google for the way it handles ‘right to be forgotten’ requests for articles to be de-listed from the Google search in the EU.

Currently if there is information listed in Google results which is unlawful, inaccurate, or outdated then an individual or organisation can complete a simple online form and have the information unlisted from the search engine. When Google removes the links from the search results it forwards the information about the removal to the LumenDatabase.org and then it replaces the original article in the search with a link to the Lumen database entry which not only has the details of the original article that was requested to be de-listeded but also the name of the person who made the request.

This approach was seen by Google as still standing up for free speech as it had lobbied hard against this law which covers all the EU but not results returned from searches in other countries. Unfortunately this is what the German court took offense to as they deemed that it still was easy for people to get access to information that Google had been told not to link to, and it amounted to just one extra click before someone coming from Google could find the information. As the injunction has been issued in the preliminary stage of the court hearing Google will not be able to appeal against it until the main case is heard.

It is good that the Munich court is bringing up this matter as although there can be some cases of the right to be forgotten law being abused it is more important that individuals can have outdated or inaccurate information removed from the Internet. There are many cases where people make mistakes, especially in their youth which could be showing up in Internet searches many years later and if that information is not properly removed then it could affect their employment and relationships.

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