Google Gets Boost in EU Privacy Case

A top lawyer for the European Union’s highest court said on Tuesday that government agencies can’t force Google Inc. to remove links to personal material, a landmark decision in a long battle over EU privacy laws.

The formal opinion by Niilo Jaaskinen, an advocate general to the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, said search companies aren’t responsible for personal data that shows up in Web pages they process. He was responding to a Spanish court’s 2011 request for guidance in a case pitting Google against Spain’s data-protection regulator, which had ordered the U.S. company to remove some search results that turned up the names of five Spanish residents.

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