Home > News > E.U. Court: Search Engines Must Remove Links on Request • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


E.U. Court: Search Engines Must Remove Links on Request

E.U. Court: Search Engines Must Remove Links on Request
Get XBIZ News
May 13, 2014 10:30 AM PDT    Text size: 

BRUSSELS — In directive that likely will have wide ramifications, European Union's highest court ruled Tuesday that individuals can ask search engines to remove links to news articles, court cases, legal judgments and other documents in search results for their name.

Tuesday's ruling by the European Court of Justice only affects search results, and not the original article or website. The court's decision is final and cannot be appealed.

Search operators won't have to comply with every request to stop linking to certain pieces of information, according to the Luxembourg-based court. But if they don't comply, individuals can ask their national data-protection authorities to order the links to that information to be deleted.

The court reasoned in the case that because search results linked to a person's name have such a huge impact on people's lives, they should have the right to get certain material removed and "be forgotten." But the court left open possible alternative interpretations in setting broad parameters of what would be an allowable request.  

"This balance may, however, depend, in specific cases, on the nature of the information in question and its sensitivity for the data subject's private life," the court said in a case that was in response to a request for guidance on E.U. privacy laws from a court in Spain.

The court in Spain asked the European Court of Justice to settle a conflict that pitted Google versus Spain's data-protection regulator, which had to assess 180 cases brought by individuals upset with search results relating to their names for various reasons.

The decision contradicts the position of the European Union's advocate general, who offered an opinion last year. The opinion said search operators were under no obligation to honor take-down link requests.

A Google spokesman told Wired today that “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 warning and consequences that he spelled out," the spokesman said. "We now need to take time to analyze the implications.”

On leave from her role as European Court of Justice commissioner, Judge Viviane Reding said on her Facebook page that today's judgement is "a clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans."

"Companies can no longer hide behind their servers being based in California or anywhere else in the world," she said. "No matter where the physical server of a company processing data is located, non-European companies, when offering services to European consumers, must apply European rules.

"The data belongs to the individual, not to the company. And unless there is a good reason to retain this data, an individual should be empowered — by law — to request erasure of this data."

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Expanding Your Mastermind Group Should Be a Game Plan

After a decade of selling an automation software product for managing websites, it’s been interesting to follow the trends of our customers throughout the past year. At the end of every year, we... More »

‘Anything Interactive’ Will Be in Industry’s Future

With the new year upon us, many people focus on resolutions and 92 percent of those who make them don’t succeed in keeping them. Others look towards the future. Looking back to the early years of... More »

Focusing, Again, on Tradeshow Etiquette

I’m very excited to have been asked by XBIZ World to write the third part of my ongoing series of articles on tradeshow etiquette. In Part I of the series, I discussed business cards, substance... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.


Everything To Do With Sex Show

Jan 27 - Jan 29
Halifax, Nova Scotia

The European Summit

Mar 04 - Mar 07
Barcelona-Sitges, Spain

The TEA Show

Mar 05 - Mar 06
Hollywood, CA

Phoenix Forum 2017

Mar 23 - Mar 26
Tempe, Arizona
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!