Parents Fight for “Right To Be Forgotten” After Daughter’s Death

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19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

The family of a California teenager who was killed in a 2006 car crash is fighting to keep graphic pictures of her death off the Internet.

Christos Catsouras, whose 18-year-old daughter Nikki was killed, is calling for U.S. officials to adopt the "Right To Be Forgotten."

Pictures of Nikki’s body slumped behind the wheel of her Porsche 911 were taken by California Highway Patrol investigators and were never intended for public release.

The CHP later admitted two dispatchers leaked the images online.

Those photos continue to be linked to her name and the names of other Catsouras family members in Internet search results on Google, Yahoo! and Bing, according to Catsouras.

"Since the leak my family has been forced to relive the shock every time the horrific images reappear simply because there are no tools in place to stop it," said Catsouras.

"'The Right To Be Forgotten' is the only chance for my family to find closure, and to finally grieve."

Catsouras is calling for the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to act on a complaint from Consumer Watchdog that Google’s failure to honor "Right To Be Forgotten requests" in the U.S. is an "unfair and deceptive practice."

Consumer Watchdog’s John Simpson said links to such content as the graphic images of Nikki Catsouras, "serve no useful purpose whatsoever and the Catsouras family should have the right to have them removed."

In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that Europeans have the right to request the removal of search engine links from their name to information that is "inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive", a ruling that advocates say should be adopted in the United States.

280,000 people have asked Google to honor their right to be forgotten.

People against this policy say it is a violation of free speech.

19 Action News consumer reporter Danielle Serino contacted Google for comment but has not yet received a response.

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