Google does not have to delete sensitive information

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Google doesn’t have to delete any data which may damage individuals reputation, according to an adviser to the European Court of Justice.

Advocate General, Niilo Jääskinen will more than likely influence the already heated debate over whether EU citizens have the “right to be forgotten” by search engines, after saying that Google – and other search engines such as Bing – are not bound by European privacy laws.

This decision came about in a long-running case concerning a man by the name of Mario Costeja. Mario had asked Google to remove links to a newspaper article which he claimed was damaging his reputation. The article in question gave details of how Mario’s house was repossessed for non-payment of his debts.

The story in question was over 10 years old, as such, Mario claimed that the information was no longer relevant and filed a complaint with the Spanish data protection authorities. The authority upheld his complaint but Google appealed the decision in the Spanish courts, who in turn referred the case to the European Court of Justice.

‘Requesting search engine service providers to suppress legitimate and legal information that has entered the public domain would entail an interference with the freedom of expression,’ the Advocate General said in a statement.

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