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Top Europe court rules individuals can control search results for their own names

[JURIST] The Court of Justice of the European Union [official website] ruled [judgment] on Tuesday that people can request that search engines remove links to certain websites containing their personal information. In an advisory judgment, the court held [AP report] that search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing [corporate websites] must sometimes comply with individuals' requests to web pages or newspapers with their personal information. The court emphasized that the so-called "right to be forgotten" is not absolute. When people request to have personal data removed from search results, the search engine must weigh "the legitimate interest of Internet users potentially interested in having access to that information" against the right to privacy and protection of personal information. The case was remanded to a court in Spain for further proceedings.

Internet freedom [JURIST backgrounder] continues to be a controversial and evolving legal issue. Last month Russia's upper house of parliament approved a set of bills [JURIST report] that apply new restrictions on the Internet and blogging, a move widely criticized by both pro-democracy activists and Russia's technology sector alike. Earlier in April the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) [official website] announced [JURIST report] new Internet traffic rules in light of a court decision on net neutrality. Earlier that week Brazil's senate passed an Internet privacy bill [JURIST report].

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