Yesterday, the Court of Justice of the European Union (it’s highest court) ruled that Google and other search engines must delete links of outdated information. It is assumed that the search engine may very well refer the whole process to the information provider. I wonder if the various search engines might just take the high road and delete any contested information–once they find the “Delete” Button. Historically, they don’t have a solution to Forget any questionable information.
The ultimate issue seems to revolve around “Freedom of Expression” (or Speech). Some believe that it should be up to the individual to back-up any claims that the information is incorrect or irrelevant. Others feel that it should be up to the search engine or information provider to prove that the linked information is, in fact, valid. Without a history of case law, however, this could prove to be a difficult issue to prove–for either side. Accordingly. “Justice” may very well be resolved, for the most part, in favor of the party with the largest legal staff–generally the corporations.
In the early stages, at least, perhaps a Statute of Limitations could be established to reduce the number of incidents in question. That is, until the search engines and information providers figure out how to delete unwanted information about anyone. It is truly amazing that these companies, which make their living mining any and all information about site visitors, without ever seeing the need for a Reverse Mechanism. The linked article, from PC World, provides more detail on this issue, http://www.pcworld.com/article/2154281/europes-top-court-orders-google-to-forget.html.