Gone, but Not Forgotten: How the European Union Court of Justice Misremembered the Fundamental Purpose of Search Engines

The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on May 13, 2014 that Google must purge links to personal data appearing on web pages published by third parties if the person who is the subject of that data objects that it is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which [the data] were processed and in light of the time that has elapsed.” Google and other industry voices have already identified numerous concerns with the Court’s ruling, notably the unknown costs and potential disputes over relevancy and staleness of data that could arise as search engines seek to comply with the ruling.