Braced for England's First ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Trial
IS THE DEMOCRATS PERSONAL CHARACTER ASSASSINATION TOOL. NOW GOOGLE HAS
TO PAY FOR THEIR CRIMES AGAINST THE PUBLIC
Court hearing over old convictions will start in February
giant says it’ll defend the public’s right to information
Inc.is bracing for its first battle in a London
court over the so-called “right to be forgotten.”
anonymous people want the search engine to take down links to
information about their old convictions. Both describe themselves in
their court filings as businessmen. One was convicted of conspiracy to
account falsely, and the other was convicted of conspiracy to intercept
communications, but they have served their sentences, Judge Matthew
Nicklin said at a pre-trial hearing Thursday.
is the first time that the English court is going to decide the issue of
the right to be forgotten,” Nicklin said.
tech giant has already become embroiled inbattles
at the European Union’s top courtover the right
to be forgotten. The principle -- created by the EU’s highest court in a
precedent-setting ruling in May 2014 -- allows people to ask for links
to online information about them to be removed from search engine
results if it’s outdated or irrelevant. The ruling is only valid in the
28-nation bloc, but Google has clashed with privacy regulators over
attempts to apply it beyond the EU.
work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten, but we take great
care not to remove search results that are clearly in the public
interest and will defend the public’s right to access lawful
information,” a Google spokeswoman said.
for the plaintiffs didn’t immediately comment.
Nicklin said Thursday that the two cases were not related but both
raised the same legal issues. The first trial, in which the person
challenging Google to remove information is known as NT1, will start on
Feb. 27 and the second, in which the plaintiff is known as NT2, will
start on March 13. Nicklin said the plaintiffs weren’t celebrities or
politicians and have been “rehabilitated” since their convictions.
has been threatened in public places by people referring to the content
that Google links to, “and seeking to extract money from him in
consequence,” his court filings say. He “has been and continues to be
treated as a pariah in his personal, business and social life and has
been unable to form any new friendships or personal relationships,” they
papers say some financial institutions are unwilling to deal with him
“on private or commercial business” after looking him up on Google. The
search engine results have attracted “adverse attention” to him and by
association to members of his close family.
case concerns an “area of the law in which two human rights come into
conflict,” Nicklin said in a pre-trial ruling. “The right to be
forgotten is a dimension of the right to privacy and it conflicts with
the right of freedom of expression.”
plaintiffs are being represented by the law firm Carter Ruck, which
specializes in defending clients in privacy and libel actions. It was
one of the first firms to use super-injunctions, court orders that
prevent publication of any confidential information relating to a person
or an issue and also any existence of the order itself.
plaintiffs’ court papers say that revealing their identity would “defeat
the object of the claims.”
has publicly raised the alarm about risks to freedom of speech that it
says are posed by the right to be forgotten. Two separate European
Court of Justice cases about that right “represent aserious
assaulton the public’s right to access lawful
information,” the tech giant’s general counsel, Kent Walker, said
in a blog post in November.
cases are: NT1 v. Google and NT2 v. Google, High Court of Justice,
Queen’s Bench Division, Case No.’s HQ15X04128 and HQ15X04127.