Google Not Bound To Vet Websites Appearing In Search Results: German Court

| February 28 , 2018 , 15:21 IST

Germany’s highest court on Tuesday ruled that Google was not bound to ensure that websites are free of defamatory content before linking them to search results.

Two plaintiffs had approached the courts asking that Google be directed to stop displaying websites in their search results that defamed him.

The case came in the context of the “right to be forgotten” debate. The European Union’s Court of Justice in 2014 had ruled that irrelevant and outdated data should be erased on request. As per reports, Google has received requests to remove 2.4 million links.

Also read: Google Removed Over 7 Lakh Malicious Apps From Play Store In 2017, Barred 1 Lakh Developers

The plaintiffs had demanded that Google set up search filters to flush out those websites from appearing in search results and had also claimed damages.

Plaintiff’s lawyer stated his argument before the court saying, “Before anyone meets a new person these days they Google them. Many people engage in misdeeds when they are young or in the past and if the misdeeds are constantly brought to the attention of others then they will permanently have a negative effect”.

The court, however, ruled that the search engine operators could take action only after being notified of a recognizable violation of the rights of an individual and is not bound to check in advance.

As per Google’s transparency reports, the search engine giant honoured 45 percent of the 2.4 million requests made under the ‘right to be forgotten’.