OLG Hamburg 7 U 29 / 12
The higher regional court of Hamburg, Germany, recently handed down a judgement that in its essential legal findings could well be adopted by courts across the EU in the future.
The court had to decide a case in which a national newspaper maintained on its website also an online archive containing articles of an older past. The plaintiff requested the deletion of an article in that archive about a closed investigation into a potential criminal offence by him, which could be found by simply typing his name in an online search engine.
Weighing up the newspaper's protection under freedom of information and the plaintiffs right of privacy not to be infinitely associated with a potential crime the investigation into which had been closed by just typing his name into any online search engine the court found that both rights are protected if it is only possible and thereby permitted to find the article about the investigation by undertaking a much more detailed search online by place, date and other circumstances and not just by typing his name.