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EU Court Of Justice Orders Google To Remove Manifestly Inaccurate Data

Google, owned by Alphabet, must remove data from online search results if users can prove it is inaccurate, the European Union's Court of Justice ruled.

The court said in its ruling, "the operator of a search engine must dereference information found in the referenced content where the person requesting dereferencing proves that such information is manifestly inaccurate."

Such proof need not however result from a judicial decision made against the publisher of the website, it said.

The ruling was related to complaint by two managers of a group of investment companies, who requested Google to de-reference results of a search made on the basis of their names, which provided links to certain articles criticising that group's investment model.

They asserted that those articles contain inaccurate claims, and requested Google to remove photos of them, displayed in the form of 'thumbnails', from the list of results of an image search made on the basis of their names.

However, Google refused to comply with that request, referring to the professional context in which those articles and photos were set. The company argued that it was unaware whether the information contained in those articles was accurate or not.

The dispute was brought before the German Federal Court of Justice, which requested the Court of Justice to provide an interpretation of the general data protection regulation, which governs the right to erasure or right to be forgotten,.

In the latest ruling, the Court pointed out that the data subject's rights to protection of private life and protection of personal data override, as a general rule, the legitimate interest of internet users who may be interested in accessing the information in question.

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