A European Commission spokesman yesterday described as “not a good judgement” Google’s decision to remove a BBC article from some of its search results.
The European Court of Justice ruled in May that individuals had a “right to be forgotten” on Google if they deemed the information about them “irrelevant, outdated or no longer relevant”.
Since then, more than 70,000 people have contacted the search giant to ask for information on them to be removed from search results, the majority of them from France.
The move came after a Spanish businessman who had been declared bankrupt demanded that any information about him be removed.
Ryan Heath, spokesman for the European Commission's vice-president, said he could not see a “reasonable public interest” for the acton, adding that the ruling should not allow people to "Photoshop their lives".
The statement came as Stan O’Neal, the former chief executive of Merrill Lynch, stated that he had “no knowledge” of an apparent effort to remove from Google’s search results BBC economics editor Robert Peston’s blog that had mentioned him.
“I have no knowledge of it whatsoever,” he told Reuters.