Last week, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that individuals have the “right to be forgotten.” In other words, individuals have the right to control their data and can ask search engines to remove links to results containing certain information. This ruling has far-reaching implications not only for the EU but also for the United States.
This case involved an appeal by a Spanish national who had complained to Google about online newspaper reports Google had indexed relating to debt-recovery proceedings against him from 1998. When the individual’s name was entered into Google, it brought up results providing a link to newspaper accounts of the debt proceedings. The court ordered the links stricken from Google’s search results.