Students Staff

14 May 2014

EU ruling has “straightjacketed the librarian”

Filed under: Latest news, Research impact — Tags: , , , — Communications Office @ 10:49 am

Researchers writing in our Human Rights Centre blog have criticised the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruling that ordinary people have a ‘right to be forgotten.’

Commenting on the landmark Google Spain case, which has ruled that search engines must delete links to “irrelevant” and outdated data on request, Peter Noorland, Chief Executive of the Media Legal Defence Initiative, said: “The vast library [of the internet] is still there. And it is growing. But the indexing is under serious threat – the European Court of Justice has straightjacketed the librarian.”

Essex Professors Steve Peers and Lorna Woods have also written about the judgment, which campaign group Index on Censorship has claimed “violates the fundamental principles of freedom of expression.”

Commenting shortly after the judgment, Professor Peers wrote: “The essential problem with this judgement is that the CJEU concerns itself so much with enforcing the right to privacy, that it forgot that other rights are also applicable.”

He has argued that Google is a victim of its own success,” and that “there is no reason why the passage of time should count against the exercise of the right of freedom of expression.”

Further implications, including those for social media, will be discussed further in the Human Rights Centre blog.

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