Spanish authorities want Google to delete info 'breaching people's privacy'

Last Updated: Wed, Feb 27, 2013 10:30 hrs

Spanish authorities have taken Google to the European Court of Justice in an attempt to force the Internet search giant to delete information that breaches a users' privacy.

The case brought by Spain's data protection authority could have serious consequences for online freedom of information laws and the protection of individual privacy.

It is based on a complaint from a Spanish man who searched for himself on Google and found a years-old newspaper report that said his house was being auctioned because he had not paid his taxes.

According to the Telegraph, Google argues that it should not be required to erase lawful content from its search index.

However, the Audiencia Nacional, one of Spain's top courts, upheld the man's complaint and ordered Google to delete the information.

The case was referred to the Court of Justice in March last year after Google challenged the decision.

According to the report, supporters argue that if Google is asked to delete such information it will create a slippery slope leading to all sorts of data being deleted for spurious reasons, and would essentially make Google responsible for the content it indexes.

Meanwhile, Spain's data regulator has said EU judges must consider if EU citizens have to go to US courts to exercise their privacy rights and whether Google "is responsible for the damage the diffusion of personal information can cause for citizens". (ANI)

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