THE European Court of Justice struck a major blow against the right of internet companies to hold unlimited information on individuals when it ordered Google to remove links that are deemed "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant".
The court's decision will allow individuals the right to ask internet search engines to remove links to information about them that they do not want known - which could be seen either as an assertion of the right to privacy or an attack on free speech. Google and free speech activists reacted angrily to the court's verdict which could guarantee individuals a "right to be forgotten" on the internet which is not currently available.
It is unclear exactly how the ruling will be implemented considering the sheer volume of online data and internet users. For individuals keen to erase embarrassing incidents from their past, it could prove a handy tool for re-shaping their digital footprint, while data protection advocates are calling it a victory against the all-powerful internet giants.
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