Google loses historic 'right to be forgotten' case

Google has lost a historic case around the right to be forgotten as the High Court ruled in favour of a businessman who wants results about a past crime omitted from the search engine.

The businessman, who cannot be named due to reporting restrictions, was convicted over a decade ago for conspiring to intercept communications.

He spent six months in jail but his crime will now be omitted from Google's search engine.

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The judge, Mr Justice Mark Warby, rejected a similar claim by a second businessman who was also convicted for a (more serious) crime over a decade ago.

He spent four years in jail after being convicted for conspiracy to account falsely in the 1990s.

Although the judge ruled out any damages payments for the first businessman, the decision is a landmark case and will have implications on future requests from convicted criminals or embarrassed individuals who want their records scrubbed from Google.

“At the heart of these cases is the simple question of whether a person’s online past should be allowed to follow them around forever - the Court’s decision is essential reading in understanding how the ‘right to be forgotten' operates," said Nick McAleenan, a partner in media and data privacy law at JMW Solicitors.

"In May, new data protection rules will introduce a “right to erasure” of data. These are very important legal developments in an increasingly data driven society,” he told Mirror Tech.

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Google says it will accept the rulings from the judge.

"We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest," the tech giant said in a statement.

"We are pleased that the Court recognised our efforts in this area, and we will respect the judgements they have made in this case."