The dispute about the "right to oblivion": to consider whether the work of search engines is journalism?

In the High Court of London for several months, the case related to " right to oblivion ", adopted in 2014. Two businessmen who had problems with the law in the past required Google to remove information from the search engine that was out of date for several decades. Last week, the court satisfied the demands, but only one of the entrepreneurs.
 
 
More details about the situation and why Google brought the matter to court, we will tell below.
 
 
The dispute about the "right to oblivion": to consider whether the work of search engines is journalism? Katarina Dzurekova CC [/i]
 
 

On the right to oblivion


 
The right to oblivion was accepted By the European Court of Justice in 2014. It obliges Google to remove from the search engine information about citizens of Europe at their request, if it is "false, inaccurate or irrelevant." In the same ruling, the court granted Google to decide on its own what can be "removed" and what is of interest to the public.
 
 
From 2014 to 2017 Google processed about 2.5 million requests for information removal from the SERP. Eight percent of them are concerned information related to criminal activities. Each request was considered individually, because often people used the system for mercenary purposes.
 
 
Once, accused of fraud by the user, asked remove from the issuance of 300 articles relevant to his criminal record. He provided documents on the court's recognition of his innocence, and the relevant references were removed from the extradition. However, it later became clear that the documents were forged. Google links returned.
 
 

The case of two businessmen


 
For several months now continue hearings on the case of two businessmen[в медиа не раскрывают их имен и обозначают их как NT1 и NT2], wishing to remove information about their past from Google's search results. Cases are considered in the High Court of London (High Court of Justice).
 
 
Businessmen were convicted in the 1990s for committing white-collar crimes . They are state that they have served their sentences, and therefore have the right to forget.
 
 
A representative of the NT1 businessman, Hugh Tomlinson, said in court that the presence of information about past crimes in search results "upset" the plaintiff and brought him "moral suffering." He noted that many make mistakes in their youth and a constant reminder of them to other people negatively affects the relations with the public.
 
 
Google does not agree with such statements. Representative of the company Anthony White (Antony White) during the hearing of one of the cases said , that the right to forget does not allow you to rewrite history. He is noted , that the nature of crimes in the case under consideration concerns professional activity, and not personal life. The history of offenses is still of interest to potential clients and partners of the businessman, considering that he continues to work in the same field.
 
 
Google Representative noted , that the plaintiff with the help of a series of publications on social networks created the image of a respected businessman, and if his right to oblivion is realized, the false picture will only become stronger.
 
 

How Google explains its position


 
The company is also declares , that their solution is[не удалять информацию об истцах]falls under the amendment on journalism, designated in Data Protection Act (Data Protection Act), which is resolves use of personal data for journalistic purposes.
 
 
According to Google, the broad definition of journalism includes the work of the search engine. Representatives of the IT giant, according to "The process of outputting search results exists in order to provide users with access to the content of various publications and the media, including information, opinions and ideas."
 
 

 
/photo Paul Hudson CC
 
 

What does the community think?


 
Commissioner for Information Elizabeth Denham (Elizabeth Denham) criticized the position of the IT corporation. In her opinion, journalism involves the process of editing by a person - the machine algorithms of Google services do not fall into this category. She noted that if the court takes the side of the IT giant, the company will have ample opportunities to control the content.
 
 
The position of Denham is separates and the reporter of The Register Gareth Corfield (Gateth Corfield), covering events from the court. "Google has made a lot of efforts to convince everyone that they do not edit the results of the issuance, but now they say that they are engaged in journalism," says Corfield.
 
 
However, not everyone is critical of Google. Paul Chadwick, editor The Guardian, believes that the completion requires the very "right to oblivion", as it has many "holes" that are misleading. Therefore, in his opinion, legislators should focus not on regulating the limits of human control over information about it in the network, but on identifying the boundaries and spheres of application of such laws.
 
 

The court decision


 
Court rendered its decision on both cases last week, but these are two different solutions. Regarding NT? Judge Mark Warby ordered Google to remove information from the issuance, as it is not related to the current entrepreneurial activities of the plaintiff. Plus Warbi took into account the remorse of NT2.
 
 
However, in the case of NT? the solution was exactly the opposite. The judge noted that during the trial the NT1 continued to mislead the court and did not show any remorse for the crime committed by him. At the same time, since the plaintiff continued to work in the same field, information about his past is important for those who will cooperate with him in the future.
 
 
As representatives of the Open Rights Group, dealing with issues of observance of human rights and freedoms in the digital world, said, such a decision creates a certain precedent that will have far-reaching consequences. In the future, the court will have to weigh and assess the impact of the information being removed on the public. But what this will lead to is unclear.
 
 
At Google, they noted that they would respect the court ruling and comply with the injunction.
 
 
 
P.S. Posts on the topic of the First blog about the corporate IaaS:
 
 
 
Protection of personal dаta: European approach
 
Legal issues: IaaS and financial institutions
 
State information systems in the cloud: the layout features
 
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