A Googolplex of Issues for the Googleplex, thanks to the European Court of Justice

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, the European Court of Justice released to its web site, Curia, the judgmentGoogolplex number on issues of privacy and control of personal data  (including the so-called “right to be forgotten”) in Case C‑131/12, Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v. Agencia Española de Protección de Datos (AEPD) and Mario Costeja González (request for a preliminary ruling under Article 267 TFEU from the Audiencia Nacional, Spain). As legal commentators around the world and via the blogosphere weigh in on the court’s expansive reading of what may be an outdated (but still in force) directive (Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (1995 OJ ( L281) 31), access to the court’s documents makes it possible to compare the judgment with the separate opinion delivered almost a year earlier, in June 2013, by Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen. There, as a Finnish AG writing the original in English, he examines whether or not a search engine is a “controller” of data in the manner that the 1995 directive could have intended at a time before the current state of search engine technology. Except for the cache, he concluded that the current search engine does not really fit under that definition. The Court, however, found the opposite to be true and saw Google’s search engine as in fact such a controller. As experts such as Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Law Librarycontinue the discussion in the coming days and weeks as to the existence, scope,  and nature of data removal rights versus the public’s (and perhaps posterity’s) right to know, Georgetown Law Library’s collection contains a wealth of material in several formats on data, protection, privacy and Europe- keywords to combine as you choose in our catalog. If you don’t mind a googolplex of answers, however, by all means just google it. 

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