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ECHR: “Technically, de-indexing could also be carried out by an editor.”

posted 3 years ago

ECHR: “Technically, de-indexing could also be carried out by an editor.”

 

In 25.11.2021, in case of Biancardi v. Italy the European Court of Human Rights(“ECHR”) held a significant decision in which is concerning “right to be forgotten.” 

Facts of The Case

The applicant, editor-in-chief of an online newspaper, published an article about a fight, followed by a stabbing, which had taken place in a restaurant, and the related criminal proceedings. One of the accused and the restaurant requested that the article be removed from the Internet. The applicant initially refused to do so, but eventually, eight months later, de-indexed the article in an effort to settle the case they had brought before the domestic courts. The latter, however, found the applicant liable for not having de-indexed it for an excessive period of time despite the plaintiffs’ formal request, thus allowing anyone to access information related to the criminal proceedings in issue by simply typing into the search engine the names of the restaurant or of the accused. The applicant was ordered to pay EUR 5,000 to each plaintiff in compensation for the breach of their right to respect for their reputation. ECHR found no violation article of 10 (freedom of expression) of European Convention on Human Rights.

ECHR Findings

1-The obligation to de-index material could be imposed not only on Internet search engine providers but also on the administrators of newspaper or journalistic archives accessible through the Internet. Technically, de-indexing could also be carried out by an editor. Although the “right to be forgotten” is often linked with internet search engines, but now the editor of a newspaper is taken obligation about this right.  

2- Right to disseminate information decreased over time, whereas right to respect for his reputation increased.

3- Besides, ECHR paid special attention to the following three criteria, and these criteria are used the “no violation” decision as a base. 

–           The length of time for which the article had been kept online, particularly in the light of the purposes for which claimant’s data had been originally processed.

–           The sensitiveness of the data at issue

–           The gravity of the sanction imposed

 

Note: Legal Summary: “https://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=002-13493”

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