The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected the “right to be forgotten” sought by Natalia Denegri, ruling in favour of Google.
The four justices on the nation’s highest tribunal dismissed the claim brought by the TV presenter against the search engine asking it to remove her name from any contents related to the so-called ‘Coppola Case’ in the 1990s, a scandal that involved Diego Maradona’s former representative Guillermo Coppola and a drug conspiracy to incriminate the football’s manager. The ruling, signed by all four justices, toppled the claim for the right to be forgotten – the underlying issue of the case.
The court ruling arrives just over three months after two public hearings in mid-March held to discuss the case, giving voice both to Denegri’s defence team and Google’s position against removal of her name. Representatives of press associations also joined the argument as amicus curiae, rejecting Denegri’s claim as contrary to the freedom of expression.
On Tuesday, Justices Horacio Rosatti, Carlos Rosenkrantz, Juan Carlos Maqueda and Ricardo Lorenzetti decided to dismiss the claim as “lacking any constitutional or legal foundation.”
In the ruling, which was seen by Perfil, the Supreme Court concluded: “No sufficient arguments have been raised to prove that a person who once was and is to this day a public figure is entitled to limit access to truthful information of public interest on the Internet about her.”
That was one of the grounds whereby the court decided to grant Google’s motion to overturn a previous decision by a lower instance which had ruled in favour of Denegri’s claim.
In their decision, the justices did not find the dissemination of the information in question “to gravely affect privacy,” thus leading them to confirm the ruling favouring the presenter. It is worth mentioning that Denegri had asked Google not to link her name with any media content related to quarrels between women or other appearances she made during the Coppola Case.
According to the document, “there is not sufficient scope [to see] an illegal infringement of the right to honour in the dissemination of truthful information … to the extent of authorising a restriction on as fundamental a right as the freedom of speech”.
The Supreme Court therefore weighed freedom of speech over the right to honour, which Denegri deems to have been infringed by circulation of contents which, as the Court insists, are truthful.
Both the public hearings were attended by Denegri, who travelled from the United States to participate. In one of them she took the floor and expressed her anger at the positions contrary to her claim.
“I didn’t want to be famous, I wanted to be a lawyer, but I was involved in something I didn’t want and all my dreams ended”, she said about her appearances during the Coppola Case.
“The videos are very hurtful and when you look them up, the first hits are fights which stigmatise women and generate media and gender violence. People have no right to continue to victimise me”, she stated while being watched by Justices Rosatti, Rosenkrantz, Maqueda and Lorenzetti.