Google loses "right to be forgotten" legal case in Britain

A U.K. court has ruled in favor an unnamed businessman who wanted Google to remove search results of his past conviction history in a landmark "right to be forgotten" case. The search engine had previously refused to delete results about his conviction, BBC News reports.

Ten years ago, the businessman was convicted of conspiring to intercept communications. He spent six months in jail. He argued that his conviction was no longer relevant to the public. 

Google said in a statement Friday it would respect the judge's decision. "We work hard to comply with the right to be forgotten," it said, "but we take great care not to remove search results that are in the public interest."

However, Justice Mark Warby rejected a separate claim by a businessman who had committed a more serious crime. More than 10 years ago, the second man was convicted of conspiring to account falsely. He spent four years in jail.

Warby said the winning businessman had shown remorse, while the other man continued to "mislead the public."

In 2014, the European Court of Justice set legal precedent for the "right to be forgotten" after a Spanish man asked Google to remove results about his financial history. Google said it has removed 800,000 pages from its results over similar requests, but companies can decline to remove information if they believe they are in the public interest. 

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