Jan Philipp Albrecht

The Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) in Luxembourg heard argument yesterday concerning the “right to be forgotten”—specifically, whether search engines such as Google must block search results when asked by European citizens to remove references to themselves. 

This particular case—which is representative of approximately 200 similar cases in Spain—came before the CJEU when Google declined to comply with an order from the Spanish Data Protection Authority.  A Spanish citizen, Costeja, wanted Google to de-list references to a publication in a Spanish newspaper in 1998, which discussed the auction of Costeja’s house in connection with his failure to pay social insurance contributions.

Google has taken the position that search engines should not be obligated to remove links to valid (i.e., non-incorrect, defamatory, or otherwise illegal) material that exists online.  Rather, only the original publisher can make the decision to remove such content, at which point it will disappear from the search engine index once removed from source webpages. Continue Reading Must Google Forget You?

by Kristof Van Quathem

On January 8, 2013, MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht released his draft report on the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation.  Albrecht, of the European Green Party, is rapporteur for the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee of the European Parliament, the lead Committee for the proposal.  His draft report will now be considered by the Committee members, who have until the end of February to table amendments before it will be discussed in plenary. They will need this time as Albrecht has tabled a total of 350 amendments to the proposed Regulation.  Those who expected a conciliatory report searching for compromise and practical solutions will be disappointed, as many of the proposed amendments will strengthen the rights of individuals and supervisory authorities and reinforce existing, or impose additional, obligations on companies.  As a result, the draft report is expected to be heavily criticized and amended in the months to come.

In terms of content, it is noteworthy that Albrecht puts greater emphasis on the Internet.  A number of the proposed amendments are closely related online practices.  This is rather worrisome as the proposed Regulation is not limited to online data processing, and care should be taken not to turn the General Data Protection Regulation into an Internet Data Protection Regulation.

We review the key points of the draft report after the jump.Continue Reading Draft report on the proposed EU Data Protection Regulation released