The Internet Never Forgets: Google Inc.’s “right to be forgotten” EU ruling and its implications in Canada

In May of this year, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued a groundbreaking decision for online privacy rights in Google Inc. v. Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos. The CJEU ruled that European Union citizens have the right to require the erasure of inadequate, irrelevant or outdated information from search engines, concluding that Google had an obligation to remove such data from its Internet search results. The ruling placed surprisingly onerous obligations on Google and sent shockwaves throughout the technology community. It raises significant implications for online privacy laws in the EU and questions of censorship and the limits on freedom of information. The privacy right at the heart of the decision has become widely known as the “right to be forgotten.”


While Canadian privacy laws already give individuals the right to request their online information removed, it is unlikely, and may not even be necessary, that a similar right will emerge in Canada where search engine operators become responsible for protecting and removing an individual’s personal data. You can read McMillan attorney’s bulletin on this issue.

This content has been updated on August 29, 2014 at 12 h 26 min.