A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions.
The ruling was made by a judge, Mr Justice Mark Warby, in London on Friday. He rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman who was jailed for a more serious offence.
The claimant who lost, referred to only as NT1 for legal reasons, was convicted of conspiracy to account falsely in the late 1990s, while the one that won, known as NT2, was convicted more than 10 years ago of conspiracy to intercept communications. NT1 was jailed for four years while NT2 was jailed for six months.
Both demanded that Google remove results that mention their cases for which they were convicted. These include links to web pages published by a national newspaper and media. Google refused their request and the men took the company to the high court.
The decision in NT2’s favour could have implications for other convicted criminals and those who want embarrassing stories about them erased from the web. The judge ruled out any damages payment, however.
Explaining his decision, the judge said NT1 continued to mislead the public, whereas NT2 had shown remorse.
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