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Europeans are celebrating the recent ruling of the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. To them, the ruling to allow them to request Google EU search results to be removed is a victory for privacy that supports the little guys. But in the Unites States, people are condemning the ruling as an affront to free speech. From Google’s perspective, it is an unnecessary pain that will eat up resources every time someone wants a link removed from their search results pages.
The Google EU Search Perspective
The European Union has wanted to slap restrictions on Google EU search and other search engines for a long time. The EU has strong privacy policies for their citizens. They saw Google search results as an unnecessary invasion of their citizens’ privacy. Having readily available links to information on almost anybody going back 25 years is what the EU judged to be unnecessary. They are not saying that the data should be hidden. This data still exists and can be accessed through the proper channels. They just think that Google having control over the availability of that data is excessive.
And the people are happy because the ruling on their rights vis-a-vis Google EU searches gives them more control over their information. For instance, some EU citizens have won cases where they demanded that data be taken down. But the respondents have not complied because their websites are not n the EU. Now, these people have a chance to at least have the links to that data removed.
For EU citizens, the privacy of the individual, which includes control over personal data, is a very important basic human right. For Americans, the freedoms of speech and information seem to take precedence. This creates a huge gap between the two regarding Google EU search manipulation. But if a finger must be pointed, it can be spun in the direction of the US government. The gap began to widen after the EU found out about NSA spying. This was the catalyst that turned this simple difference of perspective into a big problem.
The US Perspective on Google Search Manipulation
In the United States, people are booing the ruling of Europe’s High Court to allow Europeans to manipulate Google EU search results. They say that it is a terrible decision because it violates freedom of speech. They have associated this freedom with the ability to access whatever information they want to on the Internet. The ruling is also therefore a violation of what the Internet stands for, which is free access to information. Still others say that the ruling is the catalyst that will force needed changes in outdated legislation that affects the Internet.
Some people are looking at the ruling from the perspective of what it means for search engines. It will be very difficult for these companies to address the requests that they get from European citizens. Companies like Google are being held accountable for not only getting the links off of their results pages. They are also responsible for judging which requests are valid and should be honored. Plus, Google and all search engines that service countries within the European Union also has to consider aspects outside of the Google EU search ruling. They have to decide whether the valid requests are more important than searchers’ rights to the free flow of information.