Q&A: The ECJ ruling on Google
Tuesday 13 May 2014
Q. What does the ruling mean?
A. A huge amount for private individuals and everyday users of the internet. If, when you type your name into Google or any other big search engine, the results throw up information that is highly personal, sensitive or damaging, the relevant companies could be required to remove it. Proponents of the ruling, such as supporters of privacy rights, say internet users should be able erase their digital profiles in cyberspace.
Q. Why is it a blow to freedom of speech campaigners?
A. The case pits free speech advocates against data protection supporters. The former argue that the ruling creates a grey area as to what information is deemed “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”. For example, what is stopping someone instructing a search engine to remove information about them that they simply don’t like, or is critical, such as a blog or a media article? An individual with a shady past could exploit the proposed changes in legislation.
Q. Who will it benefit?
A. Legal experts say the ruling, if made law, would benefit “Joe Public” and not figures like celebrities, sportstars and politicians where there is a genuine public interest. Internet companies, though, will have to decide for themselves whether someone is a public or private figure – another possible bone of contention. Search giants like Google are also opposed to the changes because of the extra costs incurred of removing data online.
Q. What needs to happen for this to become law?
A. All 28 member states of the European Union need to approve it.
Life & Style blogs
What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
Overly-controlling parents cause their children lifelong psychological damage, says study
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Men who buy sex share 'key characteristics' with aggressive sex offenders, study claims
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 1 What marriage would look like if we actually followed the Bible
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 The Chinese city where men have 'three girlfriends because there are so many women'
- 4 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 5 Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
iJobs Gadgets & Tech
£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The IT Support Engineer is needed to ass...
£22000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Do you get a buzz from thinking up new ideas a...