Sometimes winning a court case isn’t a complete victory, especially if the case wasn’t dismissed outright. At the very least, it could set a legal precedent for more of the same cases. Naturally, the chances of that happening increase even more when you lose. That is the situation Google will find itself in soon in Europe after it lost what is considered to be a landmark “right to be forgotten” case in the UK.
In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that search engines, like Google, could be requested to take down irrelevant and outdated data from its search results. Since then, Google has been flooded with requests to remove millions of links to search results, often of embarrassing, compromising, or legal facts that people would prefer to keep private. Search engines are given the option to deny such requests for the sake of public interest, and, often, they do deny them.
That eventually lead to two claimants, identified as NT1 and NT2, to take their case to UK’s high court. NT1 was convicted of conspiracy to account falsely in the late 90s and served four years in prison. NT2 was convicted more recently for conspiracy to intercept communications and spent only six months in jail. Both want the court to force Google to remove any links related to their convictions but only one got their wish.
The judge, Mr. Justic Warby, ruled in favor of NT2, explaining that his crime wasn’t made in relation to customers or investors and has shown remorse since his release. The judge believes there is less risk that NT2 will be a repeat offender. NT1, on the other hand, is quite the opposite and continues to mislead the public, said the judge.
That said, the judge still granted NT1 an appeal and noted that there will likely be more cases of this kind, especially considering NT2’s victory. Carter-Ruck, acting for both NT1 and NT2, also says it should cause not just Google but even the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office to review and improve their processes for handling de-listing requests.
VIA: The Guardian