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Google suffers defeat in landmark 'right to be forgotten' case

Google suffers defeat in landmark 'right to be forgotten' case

Google was told by a London judge to remove links to older stories about a businessman's criminal conviction from search results, in the U.K.'s first case over Europe's "Right to Be Forgotten" law.

The judge announced his decisions in the two cases, which were both contested by Google, following separate High Court trials.

The two men both say their convictions are legally "spent" and that they have been rehabilitated.

Mr Justice Warby said the businessmen, who can not be named for legal reasons, complained about Google Search results which featured links to third-party reports about their convictions.

The businessman who won his case was convicted a decade ago of conspiring to intercept communications.

Mr Warby said an appropriate delisting order should be made.

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The court refused to award damages to the businessman, saying Google took reasonable care in the case. Permission to appeal was granted in his case.

"Spent convictions are rather different". The court also said the information was relevant to his current career and life.

He added it could draw additional publicity for the information in question. The right of people to rehabilitation is an important one.

'We are pleased that the Court recognised our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgements they have made in this case'.

An earlier 2014 ruling in the European Court of Justice that online links to outdated and irrelevant subject matter should be removed when requested has resulted in 669,355 requests for links to be removed from websites, about half of which were successful, The Telegraph reported. The ruling pointed out that this father-of-four didn't profit financially from the violations and was at risk of losing his job again unless the articles were brought down in search results with his name.

"The Court will have to balance the public's right to access the historical record, the precise impacts on the person, and the public interest".


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