The UK wants to remove the so-called Right to be Forgotten from new European Union (EU) data-protection laws being drafted, as controversy over the recent ruling continues to rumble on.
Justice minister Simon Hughes, speaking at the House of Lords committee meeting on the Right to be Forgotten on Wednesday, said the government does not want it to remain given the problems it is creating.
“The government is currently negotiating with our 27 partners to get a new law, which is the new directive and we, the UK, would not want what is currently in the draft, which is the Right to be Forgotten, to remain. We want it to be removed, we think it is the wrong position,” he said.
“I don’t think as an individual and as a minister that we want the law to develop in the way that is implied by this judgment that you close down access to information in the EU, which is open in the rest of the world.”
The comments come after the European Court of Justice ruled that individuals do have the right for search results for specific terms to be removed from the search indexes of sites such as Google and Bing. This has led to much debate, with news outlets such as the BBC and the Guardian affected by the ruling.
It remains to be seen whether the new Data Protection Directive will make it into law, as changes in the leadership of the European Commission (EC) are currently on the cards, with new commissioners due to take up their positions in October 2014.
Furthermore, new MEPs are taking up their seats after May’s elections, and this could also stall or end the progress of the draft directive if they refuse to pass it through the parliament.
Hughes’ comments are not the first time a justice minister has criticised the plans for new data-protection laws, with Lord McNally saying cross-national uniform data protection and privacy laws will hurt rather than help the region’s economy.