'I'm Happy,' Says Man Whose Case Changed Europe's Rules For Google | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

'I'm Happy,' Says Man Whose Case Changed Europe's Rules For Google

The Spanish man whose court battle against Google resulted in a European court ruling in his favor – and for the "right to be forgotten" – says he is pleased with the case's outcome.

Mario Costeja Gonzalez had been upset that old and damaging information about him came up in a search. The European Court of Justice sided with Costeja Tuesday, ruling that Internet search engines are responsible for the information they display. The case started after Costeja did a Google search of his own name; the results showed notices about financial troubles he had back in 1998.

From Madrid, Lauren Frayer reports for our Newscast unit:

"Mario Costeja Gonzalez had his home repossessed 16 years ago. If you Google his name, you can still see newspaper stories about his debts.

" 'It hurts my reputation,' he says in Spanish. 'My debts are long paid, but those links were the first thing you'd see.'

"He sued, and won. The European Court of Justice says Google must edit some search results, if people like Mario Costeja request it.

"Costeja says he's pleased — that he's always considered Google a 'great tool' — and he says now it's even better.

"The search giant disagrees and says altering search results amounts to censorship."

Costeja tells The Guardian that he doesn't want Google to purge all of its records about people.

"I was fighting for the elimination of data that adversely affects people's honor, dignity and exposes their private lives," he says. "Everything that undermines human beings, that's not freedom of expression."

Costeja would not reveal how much the legal fight against Google had cost him.

"Like anyone would be when you tell them they're right, I'm happy," he said.

According to The Guardian, the case will be used as a precedent in more than 200 cases pending in Spain's court system; in many of them, plaintiffs are asking for links to be deleted.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How Tinseltown Got Tipsy: A Boozy Taste Of Hollywood History

Mark Bailey, who detailed old Hollywood's legendary love affair with liquor in his book Of All the Gin Joints, shares stories from a bygone era over cocktails at a legendary Hollywood bar.
NPR

Want To Enhance The Flavor Of Your Food? Put On The Right Music

Researchers at the University of Oxford have discovered a link between what you taste and what you hear.
NPR

North Korea Has An Interesting Offer. And Another Threat

The secretive regime denies any involvement with the Sony Pictures hack and says the U.S. must allow it to help find the real culprit. Or else.
NPR

Hollywood Pros Fear A Chilling Effect After Sony Bows To Hackers

Some in the entertainment industry are wondering if they'll have to be careful now about the stories they tell or the jokes they make in the wake of Sony's withdrawal of The Interview.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.