Google convicted in Spain for failing to erase the digital trail of a pardoned man

Google convicted in Spain for failing to erase the digital trail of a pardoned man

A court in the Spanish city of Barcelona (northeast) has condemned Google to compensate with 10,000 euros a man who sued them for moral damages and intrusion to honor, because they had not erased his digital trace from the search engines and it could be seen that he was pardoned in 1999 for a crime committed in 1981.

In the sentence, the Audiencia of Barcelona partially agrees with the plaintiff and obliges to. Google to remove all personal information from its indexes and caches, in which his pardon was published, and to compensate him with 10 thousand euros for the moral damages caused by the “intrusion” in his right to privacy and honor.

The case

The plaintiff had already requested years ago that his digital footprint be erased, so that in 2010 the Spanish Data Protection Agency urged Google to remove the data from its index and to make future access to it impossible, and in 2014 the Barcelona Court of Appeal upheld the first complaint he filed for interference with his honor.

Despite this, the man found that his pardon could still be consulted by means of the search engines of GoogleThe court ruled that he should not be compensated with the 51,200 euros he was asking for and limited it to 10,000 euros.

The Barcelona Court of Appeal emphasizes in its ruling that “digital oblivion” is covered by EU regulations, which recognize the right to obtain, “without undue delay”, the deletion of data “when they are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected or processed, when the consent on which the processing was based is withdrawn or when the data subject objects to the processing”, among others.

The judgment also invokes the case law of the Spanish Supreme Court, which determined that, despite the fact that the processing of personal data may be “initially lawful,” it may “cease to be so over time.”

According to the Barcelona Court, although the moral damages caused in this type of case are “difficult to verify and quantify”, they are also “real”: “those derived from the discrediting and deterioration of the public image or the affectation of personal or family dignity and intimacy are clearly real.” (EFE)

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Kayleigh Williams