The highest court in the European Union has ruled that Google must delete “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” data from its results when a member of the public requests it in accordance with the “right to be forgotten” law.

This ruling makes it clear that search engines and arguably publishers will have to take responsibility for the content that they link and post to.  Google and other search engines may be required to purge their results even if the material was legally published and newsworthy in the past.

Arguably, this could fundamentally hurt the way U.S. search engines and web publishers operate. This ruling may provide precedent for forcing publishers to remove requests of embarrassing photos or posts on social media or at least cause an increase of complaints.

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About Author

Jenna Sleefe is an in-house attorney for Internet Brands, Inc. Jenna's practice focuses on website aquisitions and privacy law. Jenna has experience drafting and negotiating various types of website agreements, advising clients on rights acquisition agreements and options, reviewing DMCA complaints, preparing and negotiating joint promotion alliances, clearing advertising copy and advising clients on contest and sweepstakes promotions, performing diligence in connection with mergers and acquisitions in the entertainment industry, forming limited liability companies and drafting operating agreements, and analyzing issues arising under online privacy and terms of use policies.

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