Belgium’s data protection authority (APD) has fined Google a whopping 600,000 Euros (~$684,690). The charges are for not deleting links that violated the EU’s “right to be forgotten” law.
According to reports, this is the largest fine APD has ever imposed. The incident took place after a person who hails from Belgium appealed to the APD. The person wanted APD to ask Google Belgium to take down a few links that allegedly harmed their reputation.
The links in question apparently had unproven harassment incidents that dated back to over 10 years. APD says Google was “grossly negligent” for not removing these “obsolete” links.
“Google has declared a serious breach by refusing it. Since the facts have not been established, are old, and are likely to have serious repercussions for the complainant, the rights and interests of the person concerned must prevail,” reads APD’s translated press release.
Also, the APD ordered the company to stop referencing pages inside Europe that are likely to have obsolete information. APD believes pages linking to outdated information could affect a person’s image.
Google, however, has decided to fight back in the situation. As reported by Reuters, the tech giant plans to appeal APD’s decision in court. The company claims it has worked to “strike a sensible, principled balance between people’s rights of access to information and privacy.”
“We didn’t believe this case met the European Court of Justice’s criteria for delisting published journalism from search — we thought it was in the public’s interest that this reporting remain searchable,” a Google spokesperson told Reuters.