Feeds

Google told to delete people from search results

90 complaints, including victim of domestic violence

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

The Spanish government has ordered Google to delete information about 90 individuals from its search engine indexes, according to media reports.

Spain said it believes that the individuals have a right to be forgotten, but Google has said that requiring search engines to ignore some information would negatively impinge on free speech, according to the New York Times. A court will determine whether the individuals' details should be deleted.

The 90 individuals all lodged formal complaints with Spain's Data Protection Agency (DPA). In one case a domestic violence victim discovered that her address could be found through Google, while one middle-aged woman was able to find information about her arrest as a student through the search engine, according to the New York Times.

In Spain, an official government gazette, containing information about citizens, is published online. The gazette has been published for 350 years but for the past two years has been made available online in an effort to improve transparency, the publisher of the gazette said, according to the New York Times.

"But maybe there is information that has a life cycle and only has value for a certain time," Fernando Pérez said, according to the report.

Spanish law forces the information to be included in the official gazette, Jesús Rubi, deputy director of the Spanish DPA said, according to the report.

“The law obliges us to put this info in the gazette. But I am sure that if the law was written today, lawmakers would say 'OK, publish this, but it should not be accessible by a search engine',” Rubi said.

Google said preventing some data being accessed through search engines "would have a profound chilling effect on free expression without protecting people’s privacy,” according to the report.

Both the right to a private life and the right to freedom of expression are guaranteed in the European Convention on Human Rights.

Plans to give EU citizens more rights over information about them stored on the internet was hinted at by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission and EU Justice Commissioner in June.

In a speech on data protection and privacy at the British Bankers' Association (BBA), Reding said she did not accept that it is impossible to give individuals the right to be forgotten.

"I do not approach this subject of the 'right to be forgotten' lightly. I know that there is a balance to be struck with freedom of expression. It may also call for some flexibility in the way this balance is struck, but I cannot accept that individuals have no say over their data once it has been launched into cyberspace," Reding said in her speech.

Plans to reform EU data protection laws are expected to be announced later this year. The European Commission has cited a need to update the laws to reflect technological advances. Current EU data protection laws stem from the Data Protection Directive which was established in 1995.

Copyright © 2011, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Lavabit loses contempt of court appeal over protecting Snowden, customers
Judges rule complaints about government power are too little, too late
Whoever you vote for, Google gets in
Report uncovers giant octopus squid of lobbying influence
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.