Europe’s highest court says people have a “right to be forgotten”, including what is found online.
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that people should have some say over what information comes up when someone Googles them. Experts say that could force Google and other search engines to delete references to old debts, long-ago arrests and other unflattering information. The ruling does not impact sites that actually contain that information, only search engine links.
The decision was celebrated by some as a victory for privacy rights in an age when just about everything — good or bad — leaves a permanent electronic trace. Others warn it could interfere with the celebrated free flow of information online and lead to censorship.
“This is a disappointing ruling for search engines and online publishers in general,” said Google in a statement.
The ruling has no immediate effect on the way search engines display their results in the U.S. or other countries outside Europe.
What’s your reaction to the ruling? Should people be able to ask Google to remove information about them from search results? Share your comments below, and watch for them on WBZ News in the Morning from 4:30-7:00 a.m.