Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

6/26/2013
07:02 PM
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Google Gets Help In Spanish Privacy Fight

Legal filing argues Europe's right to be forgotten isn't quite a right and doesn't obligate Google to delete data that makes people unhappy.

An expert legal opinion filed with the European Court of Justice on Tuesday argued that Google should not have to remove data from its search index because someone finds it objectionable, a recommendation that places the right to remember over the right to be forgotten, a controversial aspect of a pending legislative update of Europe's 1995 Data Protection Directive.

The European Court of Justice, Europe's high court, has not yet ruled in the case, but the filing, by advocate general Niilo Jääskinen, may increase the odds that Google will ultimately prevail and could help define the parameters of the right to be forgotten, if such a thing is even feasible at a time when national intelligence agencies strive to remember everything.

In 2009, a man who was named in a 1998 print newspaper article as owing a tax debt, and in a subsequent online version, sought to have the publisher of the article remove his name from the online version. The publisher refused, and in 2010 the man asked Google to remove links to the article. Google refused and the man took his case to the Spanish Data Protection Authority.

[ How will the IT sector react to Wednesday's Supreme Court ruling? Read Tech Companies Embrace Marriage Equality. ]

The Spanish agency said the publisher didn't have to remove the article because the information came from a Spanish government ministry and was legally justified. But it decided that Google did have to remove links to the article. Google appealed the ruling to Spain's high court which turned to the European Court of Justice for guidance.

Google's global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer has written several times in recent years about the problems with the right to be forgotten, which he and others have pointed out, puts free expression and history at risk. In 2011, he wrote, "[I]t's wrong to try to use search engines to try to make legal information harder to find. It's wrong to use search engines as an indirect tool of censorship, since European law rightly holds the publisher of material is responsible for its content. Requiring intermediaries like search engines to censor material published by others would have a profound chilling effect on freedom of expression."

Jääskinen has come to the same conclusion, arguing that requiring search engines to suppress legitimate, lawful information would interfere with freedom of expression and would amount to a right to censor.

Even better for any organization that stores data, Jääskinen asserted that there really isn't a right to be forgotten in a broad sense. He noted that the pending legislative update of Europe's 1995 Data Protection Directive, while an important legal innovation, is not yet codified into law and remains the subject of ongoing debate.

The Data Protection Directive, Jääskinen's filing stated, "does not provide for a general right to be forgotten in the sense that a data subject is entitled to restrict or terminate dissemination of personal data that he considers to be harmful or contrary to his interests."

Technology companies may not yet be ready to forget about the right to be forgotten, but whatever form that right eventually takes in European law, it's unlikely to be as sweeping as some feared.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Commentary
Ransomware Is Not the Problem
Adam Shostack, Consultant, Entrepreneur, Technologist, Game Designer,  6/9/2021
Edge-DRsplash-11-edge-ask-the-experts
How Can I Test the Security of My Home-Office Employees' Routers?
John Bock, Senior Research Scientist,  6/7/2021
News
New Ransomware Group Claiming Connection to REvil Gang Surfaces
Jai Vijayan, Contributing Writer,  6/10/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
The State of Cybersecurity Incident Response
In this report learn how enterprises are building their incident response teams and processes, how they research potential compromises, how they respond to new breaches, and what tools and processes they use to remediate problems and improve their cyber defenses for the future.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-0532
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
In memory management driver, there is a possible memory corruption due to a race condition. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-185196177
CVE-2021-0533
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
In memory management driver, there is a possible memory corruption due to a race condition. This could lead to local escalation of privilege with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions: Android SoCAndroid ID: A-185193932
CVE-2021-26461
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
Apache Nuttx Versions prior to 10.1.0 are vulnerable to integer wrap-around in functions malloc, realloc and memalign. This improper memory assignment can lead to arbitrary memory allocation, resulting in unexpected behavior such as a crash or a remote code injection/execution.
CVE-2021-0478
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
In updateDrawable of StatusBarIconView.java, there is a possible permission bypass due to an uncaught exception. This could lead to local escalation of privilege by running foreground services without notifying the user, with User execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for explo...
CVE-2021-0504
PUBLISHED: 2021-06-21
In avrc_pars_browse_rsp of avrc_pars_ct.cc, there is a possible out of bounds read due to a missing bounds check. This could lead to remote information disclosure over Bluetooth with no additional execution privileges needed. User interaction is not needed for exploitation.Product: AndroidVersions: ...