Google has been generally reluctant to honor European Union “right to be forgotten” requests when people try to hide their past convictions, but it a new ruling, the company may have a hard time not honoring some future requests.
A UK judge has ruled that Google must honor a man’s request to erase search results about him. He had been convicted of conspiracy to intercept communications more than a decade ago, and Google refused to honor his request. Now, the unnamed plaintiff will have his request honored by Google. The judge added that the plaintiff has show remorse for his actions, and the offense was also relatively minor.
While the court granted this request, it shot down another man’s attempt where he was convicted of false accounting and still seemed to mislead the public.
Google, to no one’s surprise, had objected to both requests. The company’s attorney argued that the EU policy wasn’t intended as a “right to rewrite history” or “tailor your past,” and adding that you may have rehabilitated, but doesn’t mean that you can prevent any of your convictions never existed.