Um... What Gonzalez vs Google Sp. actually said:
It's easy to look up the CJEU Gonzalez ruling - but since you were in a hurry, I'll help you.
Tim: "The legal jurisdiction something takes place in is the legal jurisdiction where the browser being used to view the intertubes is. It is not where the server is, it is not where the company owning the content or the search is located, nor where the person who prepared it lives nor any other variation."
This is what the court said :
Google does business in the member state and "possesses separate legal personality. Its activities are targeted essentially at undertakings based in Spain, acting as a commercial agent for the Google group in that Member State. Its objects are to promote, facilitate and effect the sale of on-line advertising products and services to third parties and the marketing of that advertising."
Google agrees, apparently, when it suits Google:
"Google Inc. designated Google Spain as the controller, in Spain, in respect of two filing systems registered by Google Inc. with the AEPD; those filing systems were intended to contain the personal data of the customers who had concluded contracts for advertising services with Google Inc."
Tim: "...paedophile mass murderer but it was only the once and I've been to confession now so nobody should know about it)"
Only information that is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes of the processing" [92-94] maybe considered a breach of privacy and eligible for a deletion request.
If there is "a preponderant interest of the general public in having, on account of inclusion in the list of results, access to the information in question…" then the request for deletion should be rejected.
There is quite a lot of UK case law relating to interpeting what this means: the courts are not in unchartered territory.
Tim: "However, the way that this has been extended does rather leave the impression that there's some airbrushing of history going on."
Yes, and Google is doing so quite deliberately. The strategy is non-compliance. Google is entitled to bounce a request for a deletion up to the information commissioner - and let them sweat over it. If you look at the Telegraph's list you will see Google has now made hundreds of deletions of stories about criminal convictions which it did not need to make. All could, and should,have been bounced up to the ICO - we would expect a search engine that blathers on about freedom of information and "the public's right to know" to do just that, wouldn't we?
(As a digression - who but a numpty would rely on a search engine to be their "historian" - rather than a specialist information service? This actually looks like a market opportunity for LexisNexis to me. Nothing in this ruling airbrushes anything from real archives).
Ultimately, we may actually agree that privacy laws are awful and our lives as journalists would be so much easier without them. Or we may disagree. But if Europe is to have a law, then the Court rules that it must apply to everyone, not just the wealthy who can afford superinjunctions. The Court notes that the internet has a massive reputational impact, and so constantly republishing irrelevant information breaches a citizen's fundamental rights. Google wants an exemption from that law.