Google ordered to take down news story links

Google has been ordered to remove nine links to news stories by Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) under the “right to be forgotten” ruling.

Details of a “minor criminal offence” were referenced in stories that appeared among Google search results, said the ICO, adding that the individual involved in the case had committed the crime “almost 10 years ago”.

Earlier links about the case had already been removed at the request of the individual, but this itself had then become a news story. It is the links to the new articles that must now be removed.

The ICO said in a statement that the technology giant had refused to remove the links when again contacted by the individual involved, and this is why they have now stepped in; adding that the search results represented a breach of the Data Protection Act.

ICO deputy commissioner David Smith said: “Let’s be clear. We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about. And we understand that people need to be able to find these stories through search engines like Google.

“But that does not need them to be revealed when searching on the original complainant’s name.”

The ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling was passed last year by the Court of Justice of the European Union, enabling web users to submit requests to Google to remove links to stories in search results that could be regarded as no longer relevant or a breach of privacy.

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