As predicted, moves to use the supposed ‘Right to be Forgotten’ ruling made by the European Court of Justice to remove personal and unwanted search results have started.
It’s obviously essential that neither this ruling (and the proposed changes to the EU Directive) or new defamation laws are used to suppress truthful information that is of genuine use to the public.
Public Interest Defence
Google are unlikely to comply with the requests from the politician or convicted paedophile since there is a ‘public interest’ aspect within the laws that should protect free speech. As for the doctor, the real issue as always with online reviews is whether they are true – or even coming from patients / genuine customers of a business – but that should be a matter decided under defamation legislation.
KwikChex supports the principle of the ‘Right to be Forgotten’ legislation when applied to giving the young a second chance when they have made daft mistakes which have ended up online – and the use of defamation law to remove malicious falsehoods – but we must make sure that such good principles are not abused.
KwikChex has in the past received requests from convicted criminals to assist in the removal or suppression of online content referring to their crimes – and such requests are always refused.
As we never tire of saying – freedom of speech is sacrosanct – and it should never be undermined by allowing it to be turned into freedom of deceit.