On December 18, 2014, the Italian Data Protection Authority (DPA) issued an order with which it confirmed that the right to be forgotten must be balanced with the public interest to read recent important facts. However, in addition to confirming the need to balance the right to be forgotten with the freedom of expression, the order discussed snippets. This is the most interesting part of the order (which denied the claimant’s request to have the result delisted).
For the first time, a claimant asked the Italian DPA to have the search result snippet modified or deleted. In his opinion the snippet (i.e. the abstract that appears under the title of the retrieved result) was misleading: from the “snippet” it would seem that the claimant was involved in a serious crime investigated by the police while his position in the story was marginal. Google’s position is that the snippet is an automatic creation of an algorithm based on the content of the webpage that is included in the list of results, which are found as a result of a query.
The Authority agreed with the claimant on the snippet’s being misleading. However, Google had already autonomously accepted to delete the snippet.
The related press release is available (in Italian) at http://www.gpdp…
For more info Francesca Giannoni-Crystal.