Google Before the ECJ, Case C- 131/12

Last year the Spanish Audiencia Nacional referred to the ECJ a number of questions in the framework of a process between Google and the Spanish Agency for Data Protection (AEPD); for the application see OJ C 165 from 09.06.2012. Summarizing, what the the Audiencia Nacional wants to know is whether Google is subjected to  Spanish – European- law on data protection; if it is liable for the damages that diffusion of personal data may cause to citizens; and whether the individuals concerned can exercise their rights before the regulatory Spanish body and the Spanish tribunals, or if they have to go to court in the U.S. The Audiencia Nacional also wants to have the scope and contents of the rights to erasure and to block clarified, meaning whether an individual may apply for a search engine to stop indexing information about him/her  published or included on the net by third parties . Google has maintained repeatedly that it merely accommodates third-party contents, and that it is not affected by the European legislation because it is based in California and responds to current regulations in the U.S.

The hearing took place yesterday at the New Great Courtroom. Advocate General Jääskien’s opinion will be published on 25 June; the ECJ sentence might be ready by the end of this year.

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About Marta Requejo

Marta Requejo is a senior researcher fellow of the Max Planck Institute Max Planck Institute Luxembourg for International, European and Regulatory Procedural Law. She obtained her law degree from the University of Santiago after spending a year at the University of Le Mans (France) as an Erasmus student; she holds a Doctorate (European Doctorate) from Santiago de Compostela University. Tenured lecturer since 2001, she qualified for access to senior professorship in September 2011. Her primary teaching and research interests are conflict of laws, international litigation, and international commercial law. She has been visitor for researching purposes at the Max Planck Institute on Foreign and Private International Law (Hamburg, Germany), the Institut Suisse de Droit Comparé (Lausanne, Switzerland), the Paris-Pantheon University and the BIICL; also visiting professor at the Paris-Panthéon University. So far she has published four monographs: "Ley local y forma de los actos en el Derecho internacional privado español", 418 pp; "Proceso en el extranjero y medidas antiproceso (antisuit injunctions)", 282 pp; "La cesión de créditos en el comercio internacional", 281 pp; "Violaciones graves de derechos humanos y responsabilidad civil", 369 pp. She is also author of several articles printed in collective works, and numerous papers in law journals, mainly Spanish ones, like the Revista Española de Derecho Internacional or Diario La Ley, but also in foreign magazins like The European Legal Forum or Era Forum. She belongs to the Group of research De Conflictu Legum.