European court: Google must yield on personal info

In a landmark ruling that could rock the Internet search-engine industry, Europe’s highest court said on Tuesday that people are entitled to some control over what pops up when their name is Googled. The Court of Justice of the European Union said Google must listen and sometimes comply when individuals ask the search giant to remove links to newspaper articles or websites containing information about them. The ruling applies to EU citizens and all search engines in Europe, including Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing. It remains to be seen whether it will change the way Google and its rivals operate in the US and elsewhere around the world. Nor is it clear exactly how the court envisions Google and others handling complaints, which could prove to be a logistical headache if large numbers of people start demanding that information about themselves be removed. While some digital-rights experts welcomed the decision as a victory for privacy rights, others warned it could lead to online censorship.


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