A top EU court has ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called “right to be forgotten”.
The European Union Court of Justice said links to “irrelevant” and outdated data should be erased on request.
The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.
Google said the ruling was “disappointing”.
The search engine says it does not control data, it only offers links to information freely available on the internet.
It has previously said forcing it to remove data amounts to censorship.
The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, welcomed the court’s decision in a post on Facebook, saying it was a “clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans”.
“The ruling confirms the need to bring today’s data protection rules from the “digital stone age” into today’s modern computing world,” she said.
The European Commission proposed a law giving users the “right to be forgotten” in 2012.
It would require search engines to edit some searches to make them compliant with the European directive on the protection of personal data.
In its judgement on Tuesday, the court in Luxembourg said people had the right to request information be removed if it appeared to be “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”.
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