Google cleared by European court advisor
The case was sparked by Spaniard Mario Costeja who found that a Google search of his name returned a 15-year-old newspaper report saying a property he owned was up for auction because of non-payment of social security contributions, reports the Guardian.
Publisher or host
The ‘right to be forgotten’ by search engines is being considered by judges who are deciding whether Google should be treated under law as a publisher of information or simply a host.
In Mr Costeja’s case, he asked for the information to be deleted from Google's results, arguing that his debts had been repaid and it was disproportionate that information that could damage his reputation was still so evident on the search engine.
A top Spanish court upheld his claim and the case was referred to the European Court of Justice in March last year after Google challenged the decision.
In the most recent statement, Niilo Jääskinen - an advocate general of the European Court of Justice - said that companies operating in the European Union must adhere to national data protection legislation, but that did not oblige them to remove personal content produced by others.
The case is set to conclude by the end of this year.