This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Making Google Forget You Won't Be So Easy

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- There was a time when people enjoyed ego surfing -- going onto Google (GOOG - Get Report) and entering your name to see how many results the search engine threw up about you.

Times have changed.

Mario Costeja Gonzalez, a Spanish citizen, didn't like what he found when he surfed his name on Google. His complaint to Spanish authorities over displaying search results related to an auction in 1998 of his repossessed home ended up dragging Google to the European Court of Justice.

Gonzalez claimed the repossession matter had been legally settled and any public reference impinged upon his privacy. This week the court agreed.

The court's finding has rekindled the debate on whether in today's information age individuals have the "right to be forgotten," and what that means for Google.

Under the order Google must now remove the offending results permanently from its servers. The court calling the information in question "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant or the light of the time that had elapsed."

By characterizing Google as a controller of data rather than a reporter of data -- such as a newspaper -- the court has passed a heavy burden of responsibility onto the search giant. There are 200 similar "right to be forgotten" cases pending in Spain alone, so Google execs could soon be swamped by such requests.

Google reacted strongly to the judgement. Calling it "disappointing" and claiming to be "surprised" by the court's interpretation of privacy, the company is expected to circle the wagons and mount a vigorous campaign to oppose this becoming a general principle.

It will get much needed support from certain quarters including the UK's ruling establishment, who are bucking the "right to be forgotten" wave. The UK Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has been leading efforts to opt-out of article 17 of the European General Data Protection Regulation, which governs the "right to be forgotten."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
GOOG $701.43 0.00%
AAPL $93.24 0.00%
FB $117.81 0.00%
TSLA $211.53 0.00%
YHOO $36.94 0.00%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs