European court: Google must yield on personal info

AMSTERDAM (AP) - Europe's highest court has given people the means to scrub their reputations online. It's issued a landmark ruling that experts say could force Google and other search engines to delete references to old debts, long-ago arrests and other unflattering episodes.

The Court of Justice of the European Union says people should have some say over what information comes up when someone Googles them.

The decision was celebrated by some as a victory for privacy rights in an age when just about everything - good or bad - leaves a permanent electronic trace. Others warn it could interfere with the celebrated free flow of information online and lead to censorship.

The ruling has no immediate effect on the way Google and other search engines display their results in the U.S. or other countries outside Europe.

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