14:47 14 May 2014
A Spanish man named Mario Costeja has won his battle against Google after a European court backed the “right to be forgotten.”
Costeja asked, but is understood to have been refused by Google, to delete an auction notice of his repossessed home dating from 1998 on the website of a mass circulation newspaper in Catalonia.
Reacting to the news, Costeja told the Guardian: "Like anyone would be when you tell them they're right, I'm happy. I was fighting for the elimination of data that adversely affects people's honour, dignity and exposes their private lives. Everything that undermines human beings, that's not freedom of expression."
The European court judges said that Google must comply with existing EU Data Protection law and honour the public’s “right to be forgotten” when they request for it.
Legal experts view the ruling as a start of giving go-ahead to deletion request of material including photographs of embarrassing teenage episodes and even insults on social media websites.
Meanwhile, Google said: "This is a disappointing ruling for search engines and online publishers in general. We are very surprised that it differs so dramatically from the advocate general's opinion and the warnings and consequences that he spelled out. We now need to take time to analyse the implications."