Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case

Criminals can claim 'right to be forgotten' following landmark Google case

The judge, Mr Justice Mark Warby, rejected a similar claim by a second businessman who was also convicted for a (more serious) crime over a decade ago. Google initially rejected his plea, but a judge in a United Kingdom court ruled against Google today.

A high court in London ruled Friday that some lawbreakers have a "right to be forgotten" on Google - but not everyone should be allowed to scrub their criminal histories from the web.

Though European Union citizens have a legal right to request that search engines delist certain negative results about them, Google reportedly refuses over 56 percent of requests.

The man, referred to publicly only as NT2 since disclosing his name would completely undermine the objective of the court order, demanded that Google remove search results about a past crime that he had committed - conspiring to intercept communications - and for which he had served six months in jail over a decade ago.

Lawyers say the cases are the first of their kind to be aired in England.

The businessman, who can not be named due to reporting restrictions, was convicted over a decade ago for conspiring to intercept communications. He spent six months in jail.

"Spent convictions are rather different".

He said their claims were based on the right to be forgotten, or to have personal information delisted by the operators of internet search engines.

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His crime related to complaints about 11 source publications.

"He remains in business, and the information serves the objective of minimizing the risk that he will continue to mislead, as he has in the past", Warby said of NT1.

The judge ruled out any damages payment, and told the court: NT2 has frankly acknowledged his guilt and expressed genuine remorse.

NT1 was given permission to appeal after losing his case.

In that case the claimant had been convicted of conspiracy to account falsely and sent to prison for four years.

"We are pleased that the Court recognized our efforts [to comply with the Right to Be Forgotten], and we will respect the judgments they have made in this case", a Google spokesman said about the new ruling, The Telegraph reported.

Warby said NT1 had continued to mislead "the public and this court", and had shown "no remorse over any of these matters".

He remains in business, and the information serves the goal of minimising the risk that he will continue to mislead, as he has in the past. The information available online about his past conviction was useful for people who might work with him in the future, the judge added.

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