Colombia: Constitutional Court rules on the “right to be forgotten”

The Constitutional Court of Colombia (First Revision Chamber) has recently decided a case in which the claimant requested to order a journal to delete from its website certain news linking the claimant with white slave traffic. In reality, the claimant had been prosecuted for said crime, but she was never convicted because of the expiration of the limitation period.

The Court considered that there was a collision between certain fundamental rights; on the one hand the editorial house’s freedom of speech and society’s right to access information, and on the other hand, claimant’s right to honor and good name.

In its decision, the Court rejected claimant’s petition to delete the information; and instead, it ordered a twofold measure. It ordered the journal to update the information, clarifying that the claimant had never been convicted for the crimes in question. Besides, it ordered the respondent to limit (through the use of technical tools) the possibility of accessing the news in question by merely writing the claimant’s name on internet browsers. The Court considered that, although this measure limits the freedom of speech, it is less damaging than ordering the elimination of the news, therefore finding a due balance between the constitutional rights at stake.

Finally, as to Google Colombia Ltda. (which had been joined to the proceedings in order to express its view on the matter), the Court held that it could not be held responsible, since it had not produced the information in question.

The full text of the  decision can be found – in Spanish – via the following link: Link