European court victory for Google

The European Court of Justice has said that Google and other search engines are not responsible when personal information appears on web pages they index, a defeat for the so-called “right to be forgotten” privacy principle under debate in Europe.

In a written opinion, the court’s Advocate General, Niilo Jaaskinen, said that websites, not Google, bear responsibility for the information they publish.

The Luxembourg-based court was asked for its opinion on the point due to a case in Spain, where the national data protection agency had received complaints from individuals who said personal information about them from years ago could be found with a simple internet search.

The Spanish agency ordered Google Spain and Google to remove the information from search results. Google is appealing.

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