Google Inc. and other critics of a European Union court ruling that created a right to be forgotten on the Internet are exaggerating it to undermine a reform of data-protection rules, the EU's justice chief said.
Search engines such as Google "complain loudly" about the ruling and such critics are using "distorted notions of the right to be forgotten to discredit" a planned reform of EU data-protection rules that includes the right, Martine Reicherts, the EU's justice commissioner, said today in a speech in Lyon, France.
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"A sober analysis of the ruling shows that it does in fact not elevate the right to be forgotten to a 'super right' trumping other fundamental rights, such as the freedom of expression," Reicherts said. "This ruling does not give the all-clear for people or organizations to have content removed from the web simply because they find it inconvenient."
The world's largest search provider was ordered by the EU Court of Justice in May to remove some links from search results if a person asked it to take down personal information that was irrelevant or out of date. Google must weigh requests which may be refused if a person has a role in public life.
Google didn't immediately respond to e-mails seeking comments on Reicherts' remarks.
The Mountain View, California-based company's top lawyer said last month that although the company disagreed with the ruling, it was trying to comply quickly and responsibly. It got more than 91,000 requests by July 18.
Reicherts says the planned overhaul of EU privacy rules needs to be adopted as soon as possible.