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European "right to be forgotten" ruling hopeful: privacy rights group

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Could you soon have the right to request Google remove search results containing your personal information? The BC Freedom of Information and Privacy Association is hopeful a European court decision on the “right to be forgotten” will change things here in Canada.

Canada’s government could revisit privacy policies thanks to the decision allowing ordinary people to request Google search results with private information be wiped out, according to Executive Director Vincent Gogolek. “It’s an indication of some of the complexities they’re going to have in dealing with our increasingly online world.” He says because Google is the largest search engine out there, anything they do affects online privacy around the world.

But he warns changes in Canada aren’t likely to come quickly. “It would depend on the courts, on possibly privacy commissioners,” says Gogolek.

The Office of the Federal Privacy Commissioner wouldn’t comment on your “right to be forgotten,” but in an email said they’ve long had concerns about search histories and electronic databases making personal information, like tribunal decisions, easy to obtain.

Gogolek adds the best way to keep personal information off the web is not use facebook, twitter or other social media.