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ECJ Google Spain ruling raises concerns for online free speech

Open Rights Group believes that today’s ruling by the European Court of Justice could pose a threat to free speech online. The Court ruled that an internet search provider 'is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data which appear on web pages published by third parties’.

Javier Ruiz, Policy Director at Open Rights Group said:

"We need to take into account individuals' right to privacy but this ruling raises significant concerns. If search engines are forced to remove links to legitimate public content, it could lead to online censorship. This case has major implications for all kind of internet intermediaries, not just search engines."

Today’s ruling goes against the opinion given by Advocate General Niilo Jaaskinen last June when he said that Google should not be responsible for content published by third parties.

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