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Search Engines after 'Google Spain': Internet@Liberty or Privacy@Peril?

74 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2013 Last revised: 1 Apr 2014

Brendan van Alsenoy

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)

Aleksandra Kuczerawy

KU Leuven, Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)

Jef Ausloos

KU Leuven, Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP)

Date Written: September 6, 2013

Abstract

Search engines can be portrayed both as champions of freedom and as agents of surveillance. By facilitating the retrieval of online data, they enable a global public to seek, receive and impart information. Where information about individuals is concerned, however, search engine services can also pose a risk to privacy. Due to the increase in personal information available online, search engine providers are frequently confronted with requests to remove certain web pages from their search results. A ‘notice-and-takedown’ procedure, similar to the one employed for copyright purposes, could offer considerable relief for the individuals’ concerned. However, questions have been raised regarding the compatibility of such mechanisms with the fundamental rights to freedom of expression, due process, as well as the principle of proportionality. The objective of this paper is to analyze whether the different interests at stake can be adequately reconciled within the framework of EU Data Protection Directive 95/46, using Google Spain (C-131/12) as a case study.

Keywords: Data protection, search engines, freedom of expression, intermediary liability, data subject rights, Right to be Forgotten, Right to Erase

Suggested Citation

van Alsenoy, Brendan and Kuczerawy, Aleksandra and Ausloos, Jef, Search Engines after 'Google Spain': Internet@Liberty or Privacy@Peril? (September 6, 2013). ICRI Research Paper 15; TPRC 41: The 41st Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2321494 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2321494

Brendan van Alsenoy (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven, 3000
Belgium

Aleksandra Kuczerawy

KU Leuven, Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven
Belgium

Jef Ausloos

KU Leuven, Centre for IT & IP Law (CiTiP) ( email )

Sint-Michielsstraat 6 box 3443
Leuven
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.kuleuven.be/citip/

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