Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case over businessman's criminal history

An unnamed businessman has a “right to be forgotten” and have his spent criminal conviction removed from Google search results, according to a judgment handed down by a London court.

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The Judge, Mr Justice Warby, faced two claims against Google from former businessmen, finding in one case the applicant had served the adequate sentence for his crime and it should be considered private information.

“His past offending is of little if any relevance to anybody’s assessment of his suitability to engage in relevant business activity now, or in the future,” the judge found.

He ordered Google, which argued that the information was in the public interest, to de-list several search results about the claimant, known as NT2 for legal reasons.

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The judge rejected the claim made by the other businessman, who was referred to only as NT1 for legal reasons, finding the information about his conviction “retains sufficient relevance today” because he had misled the public and shown no remorse.

In their unrelated convictions, NT1 was jailed for four years, while NT2 was jailed for six months.

The European Court of Justice found in 2014 that people have the right to request that information about them be removed from Google search results. Google says in handling such requests it balances the right to privacy with the public’s interest to know and right to distribute such information.

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