European Union

EU Says Google Cannot Be Forced To Delete Damaging Results

Says "right to be forgotten" doesn't exist

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Google cannot be forced to remove "damaging" material from its search engine that was legally posted elsewhere, according to an adviser to the top court in Europe.

The senior advisor to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), whose job it is to present a public and impartial opinion on cases the court receives, also said there is no general "right to be forgotten" under existing EU data and privacy laws.

In an opinion published on Tuesday, advocate-general Niilo Jaaskinen, Google cannot be considered the "controller" of personal data from other Web sites, and therefore should not be responsible for what appears on sites it links to. Therefore under existing laws, established nearly two-decades ago, member state data protection authorities "cannot require" a search engine like Google to remove specific sites from its search results.