In the past few years, in the face of increasing demand for privacy, Google introduced a feature called “Right to be Forgotten” where users could submit requests to have their names and news about them scrubbed from Google’s search. The articles would still exist and other search engines could pull them up, but as far as Google is concerned, they’re gone.


This is something that users and governments have been fighting for, but interestingly enough in Japan it’s a slightly different story. According to the recent reports, it seems that the Japanese Supreme Court has rejected a man’s request that news search about his arrest on sex charges be deleted from Google’s search.

The court claims that by doing so, it would violate the freedom of expression. “The deletion (of references to the charge) can be allowed only when the value of privacy protection clearly outweighs that of information disclosure.” Prior to this, the Saitama District Court had ordered Google to delete the search results, but the Tokyo High Court had overturned the ruling and said that there was no such legally protected right.

According to the Supreme Court, they say that conditions for deleting search engine results had to include the degree of damage caused to one’s privacy, how broadly specific searches can be carried out, and the standing of the individuals in question.

Filed in General. Read more about Google, Japan, Legal and Privacy.

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