The US Supreme Court has ruled that Google must stop selling data to authorities in the United States.
The case involves the search data that the company collects from Google’s own users.
According to the court order issued by Justice Anthony Kennedy, Google must turn over to authorities the details of its data in a “form and manner reasonably calculated to allow a search engine to provide relevant information to the appropriate law enforcement agency or agency of a foreign government”.
Kennedy added that the information must be “free of unreasonable search and seizure”, but that this “must be done in a manner which is reasonably calculated” to be “reasonably calculated to avoid, to a reasonable extent, the interference with, or abuse of, any right of privacy or of publicity protected by the Fourth Amendment”.
Google had previously refused to turn over the information to authorities.
The search giant had argued that it had a legal right to the data and the court said that this is an important issue in the fight against terrorism.
The US Supreme court has previously ruled that search engines like Google can sell their user data to governments without a court order.
In March this year, a court in California blocked a similar order in Washington State.
Earlier this month, Google had said that it was working with US authorities to get data on people’s whereabouts from its servers.
But on Friday, a Federal Appeals Court in California rejected the search giant’s motion to stop the release of the data, saying it had not presented sufficient evidence that the law enforcement requests were based on a “legitimate” search for a specific individual.
“Google has not demonstrated that it can demonstrate that the specific law enforcement interest in obtaining such information is substantial,” the court ruled.
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