European Court of Justice lawyer sides with Google in 'right to be forgotten' case

AMSTERDAM – A top lawyer at the European Court of Justice says Google and other search engines should not be responsible when personal information appears on web pages they index, a defeat for the so called “right to be forgotten” privacy principle under debate in Europe.

The court’s independent Advocate General, Niilo Jaaskinen, says in a written opinion that websites, not Google, should bear responsibility for information they publish.

The Luxembourg-based court was asked to rule on the point due to a case in Spain, where the national data protection agency had received complaints from individuals who said personal information from years ago could be found.

The Spanish agency ordered Google Spain and Google to remove the information from search results. Google contested that.

The court will rule later this year.