Google calls for legal help on Right to be Forgotten ruling

Google wants help with the Right to be Forgotten

Google has asked experts on the internet and civil liberities to help it deal with the recent European Court of Justice’s decision on the Right to be Forgotten.

The decision made it possible for people to request information they do not like about themselves be removed from the internet. Since it was announced it has been viewed as a difficult decision to manage, and now, some months later, it still is.

Google has asked international experts to help it work out the best possible response, having tried out some options already.

“Earlier this summer we announced the formation of an Advisory Council on the Right to be Forgotten. As the Council begins its work, it is seeking comment from experts on the issues raised by the CJEU [European Court of Justice] ruling. Experts will be considered for selection to present to the Council in person during public consultations held this fall,” it said in a blog post.

Experts are invited to apply for present at events in major European cities including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin and London.

Betsy Masiello, Google secretariat to the advisory council, said: “The council welcomes position papers, research and surveys in addition to other comments. We accept submissions in any official EU language.

“Though the council will review comments on a rolling basis throughout the fall, it may not be possible to invite authors who submit after 11 August to present evidence at the public consultations.”

Meanwhile Google has the backing of the UK House of Lords, which said that the ruling is misguided and unworkable.

Baroness Usha Prashar said: “The expression, ‘right to be forgotten’ is misleading. Information can be made more difficult to access, but it does not just disappear. Anyone anywhere in the world now has information at the touch of a button, and that includes detailed personal information about people in all countries of the globe.

“We believe that the judgment of the Court is unworkable. It does not take into account the effect the ruling will have on smaller search engines which, unlike Google, are unlikely to have the resources to process the thousands of removal requests they are likely to receive.”

Prashar added that search engine firms, large and small were perhaps not best placed to make the final decision on rumours, adding that the Lords had been informed that people are uncomfortable with that.

Discussing an update to UK data protection laws, Prashar said that such issues must be tackled. “There are compelling arguments that, in the new regulation, search engines should not be classed as data controllers. We do not believe that individuals should be able to have links to accurate and lawfully available information about them removed, simply because they do not like what is said,” she added.

“It is incredibility difficult for legislation to keep up or ‘future proof’ the unforeseen leaps that technology is bound to make. We do, however, need to ensure that the next regulation does not attempt to give individuals rights which are unenforceable.”

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1 August 2014 | 1:56 pm – Source: v3.co.uk

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