The Dresden Higher Regional Court has ruled that the General Data Protection Regulation does not give rise to a claim against Google for the deletion of a search hit for a specific blog post. After problematic statements were published about the plaintiff, which may well violate the man’s right of personality, the latter wanted Google to delete the result from its search index. According to the court, the reason for this is primarily that Google cannot be expected to check third-party contributions for possible infringements, even after they have been reported to Google.

In the present case, the infringement was not recognizable to Google at first glance. In addition, low requirements are to be placed on the testing obligations. If one were to decide otherwise, this would be much more problematic for freedom of expression on the Internet.

Nothing else could apply to the GDPR. According to Art. 17 para. 3 a) the claim for cancellation under Art. 17 para. 1 GDPR is not applicable if the data processing is necessary for the “exercise of the right to freedom of expression and information”. Therefore, in the context of Art. 17 GDPR, the fundamental rights of the data subject must be balanced against the fundamental rights and interests of Google and the third party. Google could only be obligated to delete the content if it was shown that the infringement was already clearly recognizable at first glance.

 

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