ICO orders Google to forget stories about right-to-be-forgotten stories

The UK's Information Censorship Office (okay, it’s not called that. It’s really called the Information Commissioner's Office), anyway, the ICO has ordered Google to remove links to stories about right-to-be-forgotten stories linking back to stories that Google has agreed to remove links to because of right-to-be-forgotten requests.

Got it?

Okay, let’s try again.

At least nine people have complained to the ICO about Google linking to new right-to-be-forgotten stories that contain links to the original stories that they requested Google not link to anymore. So the ICO has given Google 35 days from August 18 to remove links to those new right-to-be-forgotten stories or face stiff fines.

All clear now?

When the ICO first ordered Google to remove links to stories on the Internet that people felt were outdated or embarrassing Google balked…at first. But then they complied and were barraged with requests (mostly from regular Joes and Janes). However, Google also contacted the publishers of the offending stories informing them that those stories had been ‘de-linked.’ This caused another barrage of stories about right-to-be-forgotten requests (many of them linking back to the original stories).

The ICO didn’t think that Google should tell those publishers about the 'de-linking' because...well...just because, so they threatened to fine Google again if they kept doing that and Google stopped.

But people kept writing stories about right-to-be-forgotten requests and sometimes those stories contained the names of the people who had made right-to-be-forgotten requests and sometimes those stories contained links back to the original offending stories and Google was supplying links to those new stories. The ICO doesn’t want Google to link to those stories either when someone searches on one of those people’s names.

This has already created another barrage of stories about this latest ICO order on linking to right-to-be-forgotten stories.

No doubt the next step will be for the ICO to order Google not to link to stories about the ICO ordering Google not to link to stories about right-to-be-forgotten stories that might link to…well, you get the general idea.

And while they are about it they might as well order Google not to link to stories about censorship. Perhaps the ICO should be called the Information Censorship Office after all.

Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


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