TR was a supervisor, working for an American bank in California. He is a duel national with an American and Austrian citizenship.
In 2015, TR was responsible for chairing a disciplinary panel for his bank, which dealt with misconduct by one of the bank’s employees. The employee was eventually dismissed but shortly after, TR became the subject of nearly 2500 websites, webpages and online forum posts targeting him and blackening his name.
Most of the posts about him were repetitive, some contained swears false information and references to his position in the bank. Many of the websites appear on prominently on Google searches.
A Right to be Forgotten application that was first submitted by harassment lawyer Yair Cohen to Google was only partly accepted. Google claimed that because the majority of the posts about TR related to his place of work, there was public interest in keeping them appearing on Google searches in relation to his name.
After reviewing Google reasons for refusing the majority of TR’s Right to be Forgotten Requests, our Right to be Forgotten lawyers concluded that Google was wrong and that the decision to decline his Right to be Forgotten application could be successfully appealed to the Information Commissionaire Office.
We considered the search results to be irrelevant, excessive and untrue. The availability of the search results was causing TR and his family substantial distress.
Furthermore, our Right to be Forgotten lawyers believed that Google’s basis of justification by claiming public interest in having access to the posts and by asserting they were relevant to the bank’s potential customers and to TR’s professional life were misguided. have decided it is unlikely that Google’s processing of personal data to present the
The URLs in question appeared to represent a sustained and vitriolic hate-campaign against TR.
It was difficult to see how any of the URLs listed on Google searches could be in the public interest or of any legitimate journalistic relevance. There continued availability was likely to be having a hugely detrimental and disproportionate impact on TR’s personal and private life.
Using our unique tools, which had been designed to handle vast amount of URLs, links and webpages, our Right to be Forgotten lawyers organised and categorised the material. They prepared a 32 page appeal submission to the Information Commissionaire Office, requesting that the ICO issue Google with an enforcement order to compel it to de-list the links from Google search results.
It took the ICO nearly 8 months to successfully determine the Right to be Forgotten appeal in relation to TR and to order Google to de-list within 28 days all the offending links from its search results.