Google Spain case will get greater scrutiny: 5 topics for 2015

2015Cloud, Big Data, the Internet of Things are among the hottest topics that vendors are driving in 2015. In this 5-part series, I highlight five legal developments that are worth tracking.

4. Google Spain case will get greater scrutiny

Last year Mr Costeja unintentionally achieved international fame, infamy even. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Google had to remove links from search results about Costeja that were accurate but out-of-date. This was dubbed the “right to be forgotten”, reflecting the ‘right’ about to be introduced under the new EU Data Protection Regulation. In fact, it is based on the existing law that data must be kept accurate and up-to-date.

The judgement has had far-reaching consequences, polarising debate; on one hand, many individuals are happy that they are able to exercise a greater degree of control over what search engine users may find about them. Others (including me) are left wondering whether making Google Spain a “data controller” for the purposes of the legislation is a step too far.

Even though the respected Article 29 Working Party has published guidance on implementing the judgement, there is still much concern. For example, it seems hard to reconcile this judgement with the mere conduit, caching and hosting defences enshrined in the E-commerce Directive to protect ISPs.

This judgement indicates that protecting personal data trumps these long-established legal principles. With such a disparity in the law, we can expect greater scrutiny of the judgement this year.

Agree? Don’t agree? Add your comment below.

Part 1: Microsoft vs US.gov

Part 2: Internet of Things will cause privacy concerns

Part 3: Massive data security fines get closer

Part 4: Google Spain case will get greater scrutiny

Part 5: Cloud standards get closer

This post first appeared on The Channel | The Register as Microsoft vs US.gov, Internet of Stuff, Big Data: Some of 2015’s legal cloudy issues

Image courtesy of vectorolie at FreeDigitalPhotos

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