Behold – how EU court put a limited curb on power of Google
Published 14/05/2014 | 02:30
THE European Court of Justice has ruled on a case brought by Google against the Spanish data protection authority – and for the second time in as many months it gave a landmark judgment on privacy, widened the rights which individuals enjoy against search engines and recognising a limited "right to be forgotten".
Earlier, the Spanish data protection authority held that a newspaper was justified in keeping notices in its online archive but complainant Costeja Gonzalez was entitled to have the links to them removed from the list of results following a search on his name.
Google challenged this decision in the Spanish High Court, which referred a number of questions to the European Court of Justice for guidance. An initial question was whether the Spanish authorities could regulate Google searches at all. Unsurprisingly, the European Court held that it could – on the basis that the advertising and search functions were "inextricably linked" and that any other result would compromise the effectiveness of European law and the protection of fundamental rights.