Right to be erased

The recent case of  Daniel Hegglin v Person(s) Unknown & Google Inc [2014] EWHC 2808 (QB) has confirmed the right of an individual to have search engine results removed in circumstances where they affect privacy rights.

A quick Google search evidences the extremity of the defamatory comments made against ex-banker Daniel Hegglin on various websites by an anonymous individual.  However, this may be about to change as the High Court has now granted Mr. Hegglin leave under CPR Practice Direction 6B Paragraph 3.1 (9) to bring a claim against Google in California seeking injunctive relief in respect of the defamatory comments.

The Court also found that the Claimant’s cause of action under the statutory tort created by sections 10 and/or 14 of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) was established, and that there was at least a good arguable case for the grant of some sort of injunctive relief against the search engine.

Ashley Hurst, a partner at Olswang, the law firm which is acting for Mr Hegglin, has stated:

 “This case has nothing to do with any right to be forgotten. The claimant is simply seeking assistance from Google in blocking access to some seriously defamatory and abusive content on numerous websites being published in the UK, including websites hosted by Google”

In a separate matter concerning privacy issues, Max Mosley the Ex-Formula 1 boss, has issued proceedings against Google for continuing to publish images of him with prostitutes at a sex party.  Mr Mosley is claiming that this constitutes various breaches of the Data Protection Act and the misuse of his private information.

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