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Lords: Google right to be forgotten 'wrong in principle'

The European Court of Justice's demand for internet search engines to respect individuals' "right to be forgotten" is unworkable and unreasonable and should be written out of future EU law, a House of Lords committee has said.

In a new report, the Lords Home Affairs, Health and Education EU Sub-Committee said it was "wrong in principle" to give search engines the power to decide what should or should not be deleted and called on the UK Government to fight to ensure that updated EU regulations do not contain a "right to erasure".

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Justice minister: No 'unfettered right' to search deletion

Responding to the peers' report, justice minister Simon Hughes said:

The Government wants to protect privacy rights and freedom of speech while taking action to bolster economic growth.

Our greatest challenge is getting that balance right, and we welcome the support of the Lords for our position in negotiating new European data protection legislation.

I agree that it is neither accurate nor helpful to say that the recent judgment of the European Court of Justice has given a right to be forgotten. We need to be clear that the judgment does not give individuals an unfettered right to have their personal data deleted from search engine results.

– Simon Hughes MP

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