Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Clashes with data protection forced the Swedish data protection authority to hit Google this week with a 75 million krona fine (£6.1 million). After monitoring Google, the Swedish DPA found that Google didn't fully comply with their orders when they remove a search result listing on a right to be forgotten application request.

After an individual made a right to be forgotten submission which was refused by Google, the data protection authority ordered Google to take action and remove the offending links.  

Google bad practice was as follows: on removing a search result listing, Google notified the website to which the link is directed in a way that gives the website owner knowledge of which link was removed and information about the individual who requested the removal.  So, if you have a website and you have been notified by Google that one of your pages was no longer going to be listed in Google under certain search terms, you could just change the URL and be relisted by Google. This meant that many articles that Google delisted from its searches, simply re-appear under a different URL. It meant that the data that had been asked to be removed, was actually still accessible through Google Search. 

Following three years of audits by the Swedish DPA, on how Google handled right to be forgotten requests, it discovered that the way in which the website owner was notified of the delisting request, could have resulted in website operators refraining from exercising the request to delist. This undermined the effectiveness of the right to be forgotten process. The practice, in essence, Google's practice put the right to delist out of effect.  For this reason, the Swedish DPA had also issued a cease and desist order against informing website operators when a right to be forgotten request had been submitted to Google. 

So, you can see that by notifying the website owner that one of their pages are implicated in a delisting request but it is also contrary to the essence of the right to be forgotten request. 

Google is disagreeing with the decision on principle and plans to appeal. 

For more information about how to have legal help with a successful right to be forgotten application, visit: http://www.arighttobeforgotten.co.uk/

For more information about how to ensure pages, images and videos are removed from the internet legally: 

https://www.harassmentlawyer.co.uk/help-with-removing-images-online

https://www.harassmentlawyer.co.uk/clean-up-online-presence-and-harassment

https://www.harassmentlawyer.co.uk/revenge-porn-solicitors

 

 

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