A court in the Spanish city of Barcelona (northeast) sentenced Google to pay 10,000 euros to a man
who sued them for moral damages and interference with honor, because they had not erased their digital trace from search engines and it could be seen that he was pardoned in 1999 for a crime committed in 1981.
In the sentence, the Court of Barcelona partially agrees with the plaintiff and obliges Google to remove all personal information from its indexing and caches, in which his pardon was published, and to indemnify him with 10,000 euros for moral damages caused by the “interference” in his right to privacy and honor.
The plaintiff had already requested years ago that his digital footprint be erased, so that in 2010 the Spanish Agency for Data Protection urged Google to remove the data from its index and to make it impossible to access it in the future and the Barcelona Court estimated in 2014 the first complaint he filed for interference with his honor.
Despite this, the man verified that his pardon could still be consulted through Google search engines , so he appealed again to the courts, which once again agreed with him, although the court ruled out compensating him with the 51,200 euros that asked and limited it to 10 thousand euros.
The Court of Barcelona emphasizes in its judgment that digital oblivion” is covered by community regulations, which recognize the right to obtain, “without undue delay”, the deletion of data “when they are no longer necessary in relation to the purposes for which that were collected or processed, when the consent on which the treatment was based is withdrawn or when the interested party opposes the treatment”, among others.
The sentence also invokes the jurisprudence of the Spanish Supreme Court, which determined that, despite the fact that the processing of personal data may be “initially lawful”, it may “cease to be so over time”.
According to the Court of Barcelona, although the moral damages caused in this type of case are “difficult to verify and quantify”, they are also “real”: “they clearly are those derived from the discredit and deterioration of the public image or the affectation personal or family dignity and privacy.