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June 10, 2014

Kent Law lecturer queries internet privacy ruling

Kent Law SchoolInternet privacy is a complex topic, and a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice looks set to complicate it further. Google are now required to delete an individual’s personal search engine results upon request.

Alan McKenna, associate lecturer at Kent Law School, believes this ruling will raise issues of freedom of expression and the right to privacy – as well as creating an administrative burden.

He says of the ruling: “The underlying basis of the right to be forgotten, is that the personal information in question is either no longer required for the purpose it was collected; the person whose data it is withdraws their consent to its continued use; or, the data is not being processed in accordance with the applicable data protection laws.”

He continues, “Personal details will not be erased from their original published sources, but instead will be blocked from public access where search engines are used.”

This contentious issue raises debates about what is censorship versus the right to privacy, and clearly requires a lot of consideration.

Dr McKenna adds, “Whoever is to make the decision on whether such information will be blocked or not, will have to decide on the basis of whether in their opinion the rights of the individual whose data is in question outweigh the interests of the general public in having access via search engines to such information”

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Content added on 10th June 2014.

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