Google grants artist whose 'paintings have developed' the right to be forgotten

Google has granted an artist the ‘right to be forgotten’ after he said his “paintings have developed” since a 2009 photograph of one was featured in a local newspaper.

The Worcester News has now republished the photograph, which will be hidden from EU Google sites under certain search terms, in a report on the successful request.

The story in question, which joins more than 80 affected articles on national press websites and the BBC, was about artist Dan Roach, who won a scholarship from the University of Worcester five years ago. It was accompanied by the picture above.

The Worcester News previously refused to Roach’s request for the picture to be removed. He told the newspaper that the reason for his request was that it turned up first in Google searches for his work.

“Since 2009, when the story and photograph originally appeared in the Worcester News, my paintings have developed; the work depicted in the 2009 article bears little resemblance to the paintings I’m now making,” he is quoted as saying.

“I had hoped for some flexibility with the image in the piece, however the Worcester News explained they do not usually take articles down, something I fully respect.

­­­ “The decision to ask for the link to be removed from Google was based on no more than a wish to highlight my new work, rather than the old.”

Since the photograph was taken, the newspaper reports that Roach has been selected for two national painting awards.

Google's 'right to be forgotten' form says:

A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (C-131/12, 13 May 2014) found that certain people can ask search engines to remove specific results for queries that include their name, where the interests in those results appearing are outweighed by the person’s privacy rights.

When you make such a request, we will balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s interest to know and the right to distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information — for example, we may decline to remove certain information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

You will need a digital copy of a form of identification to complete this form. If you are submitting this request on behalf of someone else, you will need to supply identification for them. Fields marked with an asterisk * must be completed for your request to be submitted.

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