The Canadian Supreme Court has put Google on its heels, ruling that search results must be scrubbed clean all over the globe. In a case that had one company asking that Google remove search results of a rival, the courts ruled that those results must be banished the world over, not just Canada. It’s an odd precedent, and one that could have a lasting snowball effect.
It goes like this: One company is trying to stop another from selling network devices, claiming they are using stolen trade information. Part of that lawsuit insists Google remove links to the Defendants 300+ websites, where they’re selling the devices. Pretty thorough for the Plaintiff, but the Supreme Court has taken it a step further.
The highest court has granted a temporary injunction, saying that within 14 days, Google must remove links to the company’s sites. Not only must they do so for Canada, but the court has ruled that Google must do so in every country. The links will have disappeared from search, no matter where you do it from.
Google has resisted the ruling, saying that doing so would effectively push Canadian decisions on foreign soil. Canada isn’t phased, and wants Google to adhere to their decision.
It’s a slippery slope Google is on. Allow a court to abolish links to a company, and others may creatively follow. Countries ban social outlets during struggles; could that lead to religious fingerprints on Google search? If a court can rule that a company be banned from search, can another rule similarly on religious/political matters?