Hof Amsterdam - 200.248.187/01

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Hof Amsterdam - 200.248.187/01
CourtsNL.png
Court: Hof Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Jurisdiction: Netherlands
Relevant Law: Article 17 GDPR
Decided: 23.06.2020
Published: 06.07.2020
Parties: Google
National Case Number/Name: 200.248.187/01
European Case Law Identifier: ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2020:1802
Appeal from:
Appeal to: Unknown
Original Language(s): Dutch
Original Source: Recht.nl (in Dutch)
Initial Contributor: n/a

The court of appeal confirms that Google does not have to delist the search result on a surgeon who has been subject to a disciplinary procedure

English Summary

Facts

Privacy law. When googling the name of the suspect (plastic surgeon), links to www.zwartelijstartsen.nl and www.drimble.nl appeared between the search results, mentioning the suspect's name, her BIG number, her specialty and the ruling of the Disciplinary Board. The respondent requested Google to remove the links. Google rejected this request and stated that the URLs in the search results are justified by the essential interest of the general public to have access to them.

Dispute

Holding

The Court of Appeal ruled that the right to freedom of information of Google and third parties outweighs the right to privacy and protection of personal data of the respondent. Although it follows from established case law (HR X/Google and CJEU Costeja) that in principle the public's right to freedom of information must give way to the right to privacy and protection of personal data, according to the Court of Appeal in this case there are special circumstances that ensure that in this case the right to information wins. Firstly, because the doctor treats a vulnerable group of patients with few treatment options, who should have easy online access to information about the advantages and disadvantages of their doctor. Secondly, the BIG register, which contains a record of measures imposed on a doctor, is hardly ever consulted by patients in practice. In addition, the BIG Act does not contain any rules on what third parties are allowed to publish or find about disciplinary measures. Finally, according to the Court of Appeal, the inclusion of the doctor on the 'black list' of SIN-NL, to which the search results refer, is recent, relevant, factual, not unnecessarily hurtful and current. Therefore, Google does not have to delete the search results.


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English Machine Translation of the Decision

The decision below is a machine translation of the Dutch original. Please refer to the Dutch original for more details.