A UK judge has ruled that Google must honor a request to remove search results from its engine for a man convicted of conspiracy to intercept communications. The event occurred more than a decade ago.
While the judge ruled favorably on the unnamed plaintiff, who had shown remorse for his actions and spent more than six months in jail because the offense was “relatively minor,” another man who had been convicted of false accounting and still seemed content to mislead the public wasn’t as lucky.
The right to be forgotten in Europe allows people to request information about themselves to be removed from the internet when it is no longer relevant. Since punishment was served, the two businessmen claimed the law should apply to reports about their respective crimes. But Google objected to both requests.
Google grants about 44% of “right to be forgotten” requests. It requires the company to delist the URLs from Google search for privacy. The ruling by the UK court dates back to 2014, when the Court found that individuals have the right to ask search engines to remove certain results for queries on the basis of a person’s name.
Since 2014, requests have skyrocketed. Google notes that about 931,711 URLs not delisted between May 2014 and April 2018, and about 1.19 million, about 56.1%, total URLs delisted in that same time period.