Photo: Associated Press

Photo: Associated Press

The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled that individuals have a right to require Google to remove sensitive information from search results, reports Reuters.

The ruling […] came after a Spanish man complained to the Spanish data protection agency that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy […]

Google says forcing it to remove such data amounts to censorship.

The ruling reflects a 2012 proposal by the EU known as the “right to be forgotten,” in which it was argued that even accurate information may become “outdated or irrelevant” after a period of time has elapsed … 

The ruling applies only to private individuals, not to those in public life where there is a legitimate public interest in the facts being known.

Google has always argued that its role is merely to index information provided by third-parties, and that the legal responsibility for that information should lay with the websites concerned.