SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — The family of an Orange County woman killed in a 2006 car crash is still fighting to keep graphic pictures of her death off the Internet.
Christos Catsouras, whose 18-year-old daughter Nikki was killed driving along the 241 Toll Road in Lake Forest, met with reporters Wednesday to call for U.S. officials to adopt the “Right To Be Forgotten”.
Catsouras told KNX 1070’s Ron Kilgore 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 – who was joined by advocacy group Consumer Watchdog – is calling for the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to act on Consumer Watchdog’s complaint last week 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.