How Google determined our right to be forgotten

Mario Costeja González spent five years fighting to have 18 words delisted from Google search results on his name.When the Spaniard googled himself in 2009, two prominent results appeared: home-foreclosure notices from 1998, when he was in temporary financial trouble. The notices had been published in Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia and recently digitised. But their original purpose – attracting buyers to auction – had lapsed a decade ago, as had the debt. Costeja González asked the newspaper to remove them. When that was unsuccessful, he challenged Google, and the case was eventually elevated to the European Court of Justice, Europe’s highest court.Forgetting and remembering are complex, messy, human processes. Our minds reconstruct, layer, contextualise and sediment. The worldwide web is different. As Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page described in their original Stanford research paper, the web is “a vast collection of completely uncontrolled heterogeneous documents”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.