Google reinstates search results relating to man’s brothel-keeping conviction

Google reinstates search results relating to man's brothel-keeping conviction

Google has reversed a decision to remove search results relating to a man’s serious criminal conviction in Ireland under “right to be forgotten” laws.

The search giant had removed links relating to the 2010 conviction of Mark McCormick, who admitted to running six brothels in Dublin and was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment with 14 months suspended.

The Irish Independent reports that Google this month delisted an article in which the newspaper explained how Mr McCormick had relied on the right to be forgotten to hide search results relating to his conviction, but reinstated it after the newspaper queried the decision.

The paper’s legal affairs editor, Shane Phelan, said Google’s “handling of the matter has raised further questions about the operation of the ‘right to be forgotten’.. . and whether it is open to abuse”.

He added: “Search engine operators such as Google ultimately must conduct a balancing exercise when dealing with ‘right to be forgotten’ requests. However, there is no external oversight of the process.

“The U-turn on the McCormick article delisting is an admission by Google it got the balancing exercise wrong.”

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