Privacy watchdog asks Federal Court to settle ‘right to be …


The federal privacy watchdog is asking a judge to clarify whether the law requires Google to remove web pages from its search engine results.

The Federal Court of Canada test case involves a complaint from a man who alleges the company is breaching Canadian privacy law by prominently displaying links about him when his name is searched.

In a notice filed today with the court, the complainant alleges the articles are outdated, inaccurate and disclose sensitive information about his sexual orientation and a serious medical condition, causing him direct harm.

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Privacy commissioner Daniel Therrien argues the federal law covering private-sector handling of personal information includes a right to de-indexing in certain cases, which entails removing links from search results without deleting the content itself.

Google contends the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act doesn’t apply to its search engine and that requiring the company to de-index web pages would be unconstitutional.

The commissioner’s investigations into complaints related to de-indexing requests will be on hold pending the results of the court reference.

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