Google forced to delete irrelevant links

Individuals now have the right to control what is published about them on the web and ask search engines to remove irrelevant or untrue links to information about them from their results pages, rules European Court.

he ruling highlights that Google and other search engines have a responsibility as “data controllers” to monitor the content it links to. Data protection lawyers have observed that the new ruling means Google can no longer be regarded legally as a “neutral intermediary”.

Viviane Reding, the EU Justice Commissioner praised the court’s decision, writing on Facebook that the “ruling confirms the need to bring today’s data protection rules from the ‘digital stone age’ into today’s modern computing world”.

Google said of the verdict: “This is a disappointing ruling for search engines and online publishers in general. We are very surprised that it differs so dramatically from the advocate general’s opinion and the warnings and consequences that he spelled out. We now need to take time to analyse the implications.”

This drastic change to the face of search will no doubt continue to be a topic of conversation over the coming months, as Google continue to study the ruling while deciding upon how best to deal with the deletion of links within search results. The search engine is currently dealing with each request on a case-by-case basis.