Technology & Science

Google ordered to remove 'right to be forgotten' stories after 'right to be forgotten' ruling

Google has been ordered to remove links to some stories about the "right to be forgotten" rule in Europe — as a result of the right to be forgotten ruling.

Search engine now has 32 days to remove stories about the removal of the stories

Google has been ordered by a European court to remove stories from its search indexes that reference stories removed from its search engines, thanks to the 'right to be forgotten' ruling. (Virginia Mayo/AP)

Google has been ordered to remove links to some stories about the "right to be forgotten" rule in Europe — as a result of the right to be forgotten ruling.

According to the ruling, which passed in a European court last year, citizens can request search engines to remove links to stories with unflattering personal material from its search results.

At the time, Google removed links to stories about one man's criminal offense in 1998 that he argued was no longer relevant. However, later stories about the right to be forgotten included his name and the offense that spurred their removal in the first place.

Google now has 32 days to remove the stories about the removal of the stories.

David Smith, deputy commissioner of the U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office, reasoned that since stories were originally removed from their search engines because they were considered no longer relevant, there's no reason not to remove stories that include the same data, even if they're not the main thrust of said articles.

"Let's be clear. We understand that links being removed as a result of this court ruling is something that newspapers want to write about. And we understand that people need to be able to find these stories through search engines like Google," wrote Smith.

"But that does not need them to be revealed when searching on the original complainant's name."

Gizmodo's Kate Knibbs noted the recursive and humorous situation that the ICO found itself in.

"Smith fails to mention how the ICO will handle purging news stories about the news stories about purging the news stories about purging news stories," she wrote on Thursday, in a story file tagged "meta."

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