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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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E.U. Tells Google It Must Delete Inaccurate Search Results if Asked

The conflict revolved around two companies that requested Google remove an article written about them, asserting that the articles were false...

(Ezekiel Loseke, Headline USA) The European Union has clamped down on the Big Tech company Google, requiring it to remove demonstrably false information if requested by the victim.

The ruling was made by The Court of Justice of the European Union, according to Axios.

The conflict revolved around two companies that requested Google remove an article written about them, asserting that the articles were false, according to court documents. The business owners also requested that Google removed images of them from their search engine. Google refused.

The German court of origin asked the EU court to intervene because it has the authority to protect the “right to erasure” which the EU explained as a “right to be forgotten.”

The court was clear that this right was not absolute, and must be balanced with the rights of other individuals. However, the court also said “the right to freedom of expression and information cannot be taken into account where, at the very least, a part – which is not of minor importance – of the information found in the referenced content proves to be inaccurate.”

The regulation is even more stringent on Google than might otherwise be suspected, because the person claiming anonymity is not obliged to demonstrate the inaccuracy of the information about them, but “only evidence that can reasonably be required of him or her to try to find.”

However, “where the person who has made a request for de-referencing submits relevant and sufficient evidence capable of substantiating his or her request and of establishing the manifest inaccuracy of the information found in the referenced content, the operator of the search engine is required to accede to that request.”

Google objected to the decision. A Google spokesperson said that the company has long since deleted the information in question.

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