A UK lawsuit against Google will send shockwaves through the world’s information industry and have serious repercussions for business if successful, said Chris Palmer, principal consultant at CA EMEA.
London businessman Brian Retkin is attempting to use UK law to hold Google liable for the publication of damaging material on the internet after US judges ruled that search engines were immune from defamation lawsuits.
UK law offers similar protection to search engines, but only if the company is unaware of defamatory material arising from a search result.
Palmer said businesses also need to know what information they had across the whole organisation in every format, manage it according to its value to the business, and have the confidence to delete information that has no value.
“Google’s ‘keep everything forever’ model is exposing them to increased risk of litigation,” said Palmer. A victory for Retkin will make organisations responsible for information beyond their boundaries as well as within, he said.
Retkin said he notified Google three years ago, but the company has not removed the offending search results as required by the UK Defamation Act of 1996.
Retkin is unhappy that Google search results still contain links to allegations that his domain-name registration company, Dotworlds, tried to win business by taking advantage of patriotism following the terror attacks on the US in September 2001.
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