FORTUNE — If you’ve ever wished certain search results under your name wouldn’t keep showing up in Google’s
search engine results, the European Court of Justice might be your new best friend.
The highest court in the EU, based in Brussels, has ruled that individuals can now ask Google to remove links that come up when their name is searched, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The ruling doesn’t mean the original article or website has to be removed, or altered, the Journal noted. Only search results would be affected.
Google called the ruling disappointing and said it would take time to analyze its potential repercussions, the paper said.
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The case which led to the decision involved a Spanish man asking for links to a story about his owing social security debts — a situation which has since been resolved — to be removed from the search engines results.
“If, following a search made on the basis of a person’s name, the list of results displays a link to a Web page which contains information on the person in question, that data subject may approach the operator directly,” to ask for the material to be removed, the court said.
The EU ruling doesn’t mean that search-engine operators have to obey every request to stop linking to certain information online, but if they fail to comply, individuals can ask their country’s data-protection authorities to order that the links be deleted, the paper said.