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Hegglin v Persons Unknown - Settled

Reference: [2014] EWHC 2808 (QB) Court: High Court (Queen's Bench Division)

On Monday 24th November 2014, a settlement was reached between the parties in Hegglin v Persons Unknown [2014] EWHC 2808. The facts of the case can be read on our previous article about the case below.

Both parties made public statements. The Guardian quotes Hegglin’s barrister, Hugh Tomlinson QC, as saying:

"The settlement includes significant efforts on Google’s part to remove the abusive material from Google-hosted websites and from its search results... Mr Hegglin will now concentrate his energies on bringing the persons responsible for this campaign of harassment to justice."

Google was quoted as stating:

"Google provides search services to millions of people and cannot be responsible for policing internet content. It will, however, continue to apply its procedures that have been developed to assist with the removal of content which breaches local applicable laws."

Other than stating that the parties had reached a “mutually acceptable agreement”, Google offered no significant insight into the settlement details. The case was likely to be the first to test the scope of search engine, and potentially website host, responsibilities concerning personal data and anonymous postings in the wake of the Google Spain decision. Because the case settled, however, the law remains untested.

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