Google has withdrawn its appeal to the Supreme Court in Vidal-Hall v Google Inc  EWCA Civ 311. Therefore the landmark Court of Appeal decision, discussed here on this blog, that damages can be awarded under the Data Protection Act 1998 for distress and anxiety, even if no financial loss suffered, will stand as good law.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (the ICO) has served an enforcement notice on Google Inc requiring it to delist nine specific search engine results within 35 days. This is understood to be the first formal enforcement notice served by the UK regulator on the US online giant in relation to a ‘right to be forgotten’ request.
The Deputy Information Commissioner, David Smith, has indicated that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) may take legal action against Google over its handling of ‘right to be forgotten’ requests. The Article 29 Working Party has also criticised Google for notifying media outlets when URLs from their sites are going to be filtered and for failing to filter URLs from all of its search engines including www.google.com.
Mr Justice Bean sitting at the High Court of Justice has given permission for Google to be served with a claim form outside of the jurisdiction. The claim, brought by Mr Daniel Hegglin, relates to anonymous abusive and defamatory postings concerning him on the world wide web. When the claimant’s name was typed into the Google search engine, these postings were retrieved in the snippets. He is seeking an injunction against Google, who is joined as the second defendant in proceedings, under s.10 and s.14 of the Data Protection Act 1998 to prevent this from happening in the future and a Norwich Pharmacal Order to allow him to identify the posters.
Brett Wilson LLP partner Iain Wilson has been interviewed by the New York Times about the fallout from the decision in the ECJ case of Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja Gonzalez and the response of reputation management companies
Further to the ruling of the European Court of Justice on 13 May 2014 in Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja Gonzalez (Case C-131/12) (see our article here for more information), Google has announced that it will implement a procedure to filter out irrelevant and outdated search engine results.
On 13 May 2014, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in the case of Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja Gonzalez (Case C-131/12). Mr Gonzalez had brought a claim against Google after search engine results continued to display an auction notice that had been published by a newspaper on its website in 1998. The notice was in respect of the auction of his property after Mr Gonzalez had allegedly failed to pay social security debts. The property was in fact never auctioned because the debts had been settled by Mr Gonzalez. Yet search engine results continued to retrieve the notice over 10 years later and Mr Gonzalez brought an action against Google in the Spanish courts to remove the publication. While the AEPD agreed that the results should be suppressed, the Audiencia Nacional (Spanish High Court) referred questions on the meaning of the Data Protection Directive (DPD) to the ECJ.