The Supreme Court rejects the application of the “right to be forgotten” for public figures

The Supreme Court rejects the application of the “right to be forgotten” for public figures

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The Supreme Court denied by court order the cassation appeal presented by a tax advisor, Joan Antón Sánchez Carreté, against a judgment from the “Audiencia Provincial” of Barcelona which concluded that the affected party is “a public figure, regarding the facts undoubtedly of public interest in which he has been involved”:

The decision confirmed the rejection of his claim against Google Spain, in order to remove from the indexing the personal information about the judicial sentence imposed for offences against Treasury. The applicant claimed that Google committed an intrusion into his privacy and his right to honor and called for a 12.000 euros compensation as a non-material damage. However, the “Audiencia” of Barcelona appreciates that the right to be forgotten could not apply to this case, given that it concerns a public figure, because the claimant has appeared before the “Comisión de Investigación sobre Fraude Fiscal del Parlamento de Catalunya” and was mentioned on the Falciani’s list. The judgement of the “Audiencia” of Barcelona, now confirmed, was based on the doctrine of the Supreme Court, announced by a sentence on October 15th of 2015 which established that “the so-called digital’s right to be forgotten, concreteness in this field of the rights deriving from the requirements attached to the quality of processing of the data, does not imply the ability for everyone to remake their past the way they wish, forcing the web site editors or the administrators of the search engines to remove the processing of personal data when they are associated to facts not considered as positives”. The Supreme Court specifies in the same decision that the right to oblivion allows the affected party, “when it is not regarded as public figure”, to object that the processing of personal data enabling a mere consultation on a generalist Internet’s browsers, using as key words personal data such as the last and the first name, make permanent and of general awareness information seriously harmful for his honor and privacy about facts occurred a while ago, in a way that changes the perception of the rest of citizen about him.  

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