News: Google Spain, the ICO cases and decisions in the first year

10 11 2015

ico-logo-blue-grey-370x229The Information Commissioner’s office has, since May 2014, dealt with 441 cases and has required Google to de-list in 20%.  It has, over this period, issued one enforcement notice against Google.

This information is disclosed in a recent blog post by Deputy Information Commissioner David Smith.  This tells us that, as at 13 August 2015, the ICO had recived 472 cases, 441 of which had been “closed”.  Around one third of the cases related to historic criminal convictions.  In 34% of the cases in which the ICO agreed with Google’s decision the fact that the convictions were recent or serious.  We note that, as at March 2015 the ICO had, as disclosed in its annual report dated 1 July 2015 [pdf] successfully dealt with over 120 complaints” received following the Google Spain judgment.

volume-of-casework

In deciding these cases, the ICO applied its published “Search result delisting criteria”.  In terms of outcomes, in 60% of the cases the complaint was ineligible, in 40% it was decided that no action was required and in 20% he ICO required the removal of a search result.

outcomes

Mr Smith draws attention to the first enforcement notice issued against Google, requiring it to remove 9 search results brought up by entering an individual’s name.  These were removed from European versions of the search engine but not from other versions accessible from the UK.  The ICO considered this insufficient and has issued a clarified enforcement notice [pdf].  This bears the same date as the original but appears to have been issued on 28 October 2015 – so that Google has until the end of November 2015 to appeal.

This process of reissuing the notice seems to be the answer to the question posed by Chris Pounder as to whether Google’s time for appeal had expired (see his posts here and here).

Only a very small percentage of delisting decisions are referred to the ICO.  According to its latest figures,  Google has received a total of 42,313 de-listing requests from individuals with a relationship with the UK, requesting the removal of a total of 159,494 URLs.  Of these, 37.9% were removed.


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