The U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) said in a statement Thursday that Google has refused to comply with the order. “It argued these links were to articles that concerned one of its decisions to delist a search result and that the articles were an essential part of a recent news story relating to a matter of significant public importance,” the privacy regulator said.
The watchdog said its ruling “recognizes that journalistic content relating to decisions to delist search results may be newsworthy and in the public interest. But it confirms that this does not justify including links to that content when a Google search is made by entering the affected individual’s name.”
Google declined to comment.
However, the Computer and Communications Industry Association, a lobbying group that counts Google as a member, blasted the U.K. decision.
“This latest ruling shows that we have an expanding ability to censor what is on the web,” said Chief Executive Ed Black. “The effort to selectively take down and hide information, which is in the public domain, is a dangerous precedent that can be used globally.”
The right to be forgotten ruling was criticized by the U.K. House of Lords’ EU committee last July, whichcalled it “unworkable and wrong.”
“We do not believe that individuals should have a right to have links to accurate and lawfully available information about them removed, simply because they do not like what is said,” it added.
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