"Right to be forgotten" on Google remains a complicated matter

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Compared to search engine operators such as Google, there is no automatic “right to be forgotten” on the Internet. Whether links to critical articles have to be removed from the hit list always depends on a comprehensive consideration of fundamental rights in individual cases.

The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) made this clear in a judgment announced on Monday. Just as important as the rights of the person concerned are the public interest in the linked information, the entrepreneurial freedom of the search engine operator and the rights of the content provider.

In the case decided, the former managing director of a regional welfare association for Central Hesse has no right to the fact that older press reports about an illness and a financial deficit of the association can no longer be found. (Az. VI ZR 405/18)

The judges suspended a second procedure in order to have key questions clarified by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). On the one hand, it is open what should happen if there is controversy as to whether the linked reporting is true or false. On the other hand, there are small thumbnails that appear in the hit list without the context being apparent. (VI ZR 476/18)

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  • Google_2: © Goodpics – stock.adobe.com

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