Google privacy ruling nothing to celebrate
THE EDITOR, Sir:
The latest decision by the European Court of Justice (more diktats from on high) regarding an individual's right to demand that information about them be removed from Google's search engines makes interesting reading. As you might have heard, the decision, in effect, preserves the individual's 'right to be forgotten'.
When I first heard of the decision, I whooped with joy. One point for personal privacy. That joy didn't last long, though, as I realised that this decision could be a form of censorship and remove from the public domain easily accessible information that could serve the interest of the public.
In addition, the spectre of the £800-per-hour lawyer loomed, too, as I further realised that to get Google to remove damaging personal details would involve expensive briefs and would, therefore, be a ruling that serves only the very well-heeled.
That said, it seems also to be a pretty pointless judgment if the information that Google may be asked to remove is still accessible elsewhere: newspaper archives, for example. What next? Close those, too?