The Information Commissioner’s Office is on a collision course with the Government over the recent “right to be forgotten” ruling, after claiming it is already working well in practice.
The ICO’s intervention follows a report by the House of Lords European Union Committee – which is supported by Justice Minister Simon Hughes and the Coalition government – which claimed the legislation was “unworkable”.
The Committee’s report, published last week, said: “We do not believe that individuals should have a right to have links to accurate and lawfully available information about them removed, simply because they do not like what is said.”
But deputy Information Commissioner David Smith has hit back at the report, claiming the criticism is misplaced because it has been shown to be already working.
He said: “We were disappointed by the recent report [from the House of Lords] on the ‘right to be forgotten’. We agree with the Committee that the expression ‘right to be forgotten’ is misleading but criticism of the judgment as unworkable is misplaced, as the initial stages of its implementation have already shown.
“We explained our views to the Committee at the start of July (though we were surprised to see Google’s own briefing for the Committee was provided in private).”
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