Case Note, CJEU 13 May 2014, C-131/12 (Google Spain)

5 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2014

Date Written: August 15, 2014


This short case note about the Google Spain case of the Court of Justice of the EU (European Human Rights Cases, 2014/186) discusses the Court's legal considerations and conclusions about the right of individuals vis a vis search engines to request the removal of search results relating to their person.

At the heart of the case is a balancing of the rights and freedoms of individuals who find themselves confronted with the availability of people search on the basis of their name on the one hand, and the freedom of expression and information on the other hand. Under present conditions, both fundamental interests are shaped by the publishing opportunities in the digital environment as well as the availability of search engines that help internet users find information and help speakers reach an audience. The Court’s considerations and conclusions with respect to the proper balance required by EU data protection rules and the fundamental rights and freedoms in the Charter are far-reaching and widely-debated and controversial.

Keywords: Information Law, Data Protection, Privacy, Freedom of Expression, European Union, Reputation, Search Engines, Right to be Forgotten

Suggested Citation

van Hoboken, Joris V. J., Case Note, CJEU 13 May 2014, C-131/12 (Google Spain) (August 15, 2014). Available at SSRN:

Joris V. J. Van Hoboken (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Spui 21
Amsterdam, 1018 WB

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