Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case

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Google was told by a London judge to remove links to older stories about a businessman's criminal conviction from search results, in the U.K.'s first case over Europe's "Right to Be Forgotten" law.

A U.K. High Court judge did not agree and ruled Google had to erase search results pertaining to the man's prosecution and conviction for conspiracy to carry out surveilance, noting that he had expressed remorse for his actions, served his time, and that the record had little relevance to his current business dealings, The Telegraph reported.

A United Kingdom judge has ruled that Google must honor a man's request to erase search results about him.

He spent four years in jail after being convicted for conspiracy to account falsely in the 1990s.

Mr Justice Warby said the businessmen, who can not be named for legal reasons, complained about Google Search results which featured links to third-party reports about their convictions.

Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, which campaigns to promote digital freedom, said: "The right to be forgotten is meant to apply to information that is no longer relevant but disproportionately impacts a person". In those circumstances, "the public interest in having information with his name about this case doesn't prevail".

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He remains in business, and the information serves the objective of minimising the risk that he will continue to mislead, as he has in the past.

The Right to Be Forgotten can be interpreted in various ways by courts throughout Europe.

"We are pleased that the Court recognized our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case", the company said.

The ruling came about after a case brought against Google by Spaniard Mario Costeja Gonzalez, who wanted two newspaper articles dating back to 1998 to be deleted from the search results page.

"That held good until the internet and Google's powerful search engine rather undid matters".

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