Google required to remove old crime links from search results

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THE European information watchdog has told Google to take further steps to wipe any mention of a link between a person’s name and a minor criminal offence committed more than ten years ago from its search engine.

In May 2014 the European Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) instructed Google to remove certain results for an individual’s name, which linked that person to a minor criminal offence committed over ten years ago.

Now, the ICO has insisted that any coverage of the fact that Google had removed the links should also be removed within the next 35 days. Whilst Google is able to reject an application for removal based on the story being in the public interest, it may find it difficult to ignore this instruction, although there seems to be nothing to stop it from leaving the links extant on US Google.com.

“Google was right, in its original decision, to accept that search results relating to the complainant’s historic conviction were no longer relevant and were having a negative impact on privacy,” said deputy commissioner David Smith. “It is wrong of them to now refuse to remove newer links that reveal the same details and have the same negative impact.”

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