Luxembourg The search engine operator Google following a decision by the European Court of Justice (ECJ), must remove references to proven incorrect data. If a person can prove that a search query leads to a website with obvious false information, the company must remove the corresponding link, the judges ruled on Thursday.
This does not require a judicial decision, but the persons concerned only have to present the evidence that they can reasonably be expected to compile.
In the specific case (Az. C-460/20), two managers from investment companies had sued Google. The subsidiary of the Internet group alphabet had resisted deleting search results that link the names of the two to critical articles about their employers.
They also wanted thumbnail photos of them removed from search results. Google justified the refusal by saying that they did not know whether the information on these pages was correct.
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In response to the verdict, the company announced that the miniature photos could no longer be found via an internet search. The Internet pages with the content in question had already gone offline a long time ago.
Of the ECJ already granted users a “right to be forgotten” in 2014. It obliges search engine operators to remove links to websites with sensitive personal information from the list of results under certain circumstances.
The data protection law of the European Union, which came into force in 2018, only allows an exception if this is necessary for the exercise of the right to information.