European court decides that Google must let users censor their own search results

european court rules google must remove links personal material requested

In a move that could disrupt how Google and other search-engine operators work across Europe, the European Union Court of Justice ruled that Google is forced to remove personal information hosted on third-party websites from its search engine results when requested to do so.

This ruling follows a case in Spain when Mario Costeja González could not secure the deletion of an auction notice for his repossessed home back in 1998, which was on the website of a Spanish newspaper in mass circulation. González argued that, because the matter, which involved having the house auctioned off in order to recover his social security debts, was resolved, it should no longer be linked to him when searching his name on Google.

Google refused to do so, as with other plaintiffs, so the original case was brought to the European Union Court of Justice, the highest court in the European Union. Plaintiffs argued their “right to be forgotten,” which should give them the opportunity to have outdated information about them removed from search engines. The original article or website doesn’t have to be altered, according to the ruling. Rather, only search results would be affected.

According to the court, Google is “obliged to remove links to Web pages” under certain circumstances. “If, following a search made on the basis of a person’s name, the list of results displays a link to a Web page which contains information on the person in question, that data subject may approach the operator directly.” While search-engine operators don’t have to comply with every request, individuals can go to their national data-protection authorities to have them order the removal of the links.

Google isn’t very happy with the ruling.

“This is a disappointing ruling for search engines and online publishers in general,” said Google spokesperson Al Verney to the Wall Street Journal. According to Verney, Google will review the implications of the ruling, though law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati partner Christopher Kuner believes this will have wide implications for the Internet itself and how it’s used. “It sets up a system whereby search engine providers have to, when requested, take down instances of persons names, independently of what the website they’re indexing does.”

Computing

Mueller report releases on CD, forces Congress to find PCs with disc drives

The Mueller report was released this week to Congress via CDs and congressional members had to find PCs with working disc drives to access the 400-page document. The redacted report was also released to the public on a website.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Gaming

Get jiggy with it and find the jigsaw pieces with our Fortnite challenge guide

For this Fortnite weekly challenge, players must search for jigsaw puzzle pieces under bridges and in caves. We've got the best locations for finding these pieces so you can complete this challenge fast.
Computing

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.
Apple

WWDC 2019 Complete Coverage

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference is a key tech event each year, and for Apple fans, it will be one of the two best times of 2019 (along with "new iPhone day," of course). For the last few years, Apple has debuted much of its…
Mobile

Whether by the pool or the sea, make a splash with the best waterproof phones

Whether you're looking for a phone you can use in the bath, or you just want that extra peace of mind, waterproof phones are here and they're amazing. Check out our selection of the best ones you can buy.
Mobile

Walmart drops a killer deal on the Apple iPad Mini 4 tablet

The Apple iPad still reigns supreme in the tablet market, and the pint-sized 7.9-inch iPad Mini is the perfect everyday carry companion. Now’s the perfect chance to score a deal on the last-gen iPad Mini 4 before it’s gone for good.
Mobile

Google Creative Lab’s new AR experiment helps you learn how to draw

Google's Creative Lab developed an experiment called Drawalong AR that could make it easier for aspiring artists to follow YouTube tutorials. The experiment essentially leverages Google's ARCore to create a virtual tracing paper.
Home Theater

Set your ears free with the best completely wireless earbuds

If you can't stand the tangle of cords, or you're just excited about completely wireless earbuds, you're going to need some help separating the wheat from the chaff. Our list serves up the best true wireless earbuds around.
Mobile

Want to watch Netflix in bed or browse the web? We have a tablet for everyone

There’s so much choice when shopping for a new tablet that it can be hard to pick the right one. From iPads to Android, these are our picks for the best tablets you can buy right now whatever your budget.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best affordable phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget…
Mobile

Which smartphone has the best camera? We found the sharpest shooters

They say that the best camera is always the one you have with you and that makes your smartphone camera very important indeed. Join us for a closer look at the best camera phones available right now.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Solve a galaxy of problems with a simple reset of your S10

If your Samsung smartphone is acting up, then you may want to try resetting it. We'll show you how to overcome simple issues with a soft reset and also how to tackle bigger problems or prep it for sale with a factory reset.