AN Oxford professor has said that a controversial legal ruling will change the way hundreds of millions of people use the internet.

Prof Luciano Floridi, a professor of philosophy and the ethics of information at Oxford University, has been appointed by Google to work out how it should comply with the landmark ruling that means people can ask for their personal information to be removed.

The European Union Court of Justice has ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten”, meaning some of their details have to be taken down if they request it.

Speaking to The Independent, Prof Floridi said the main beneficiaries of the ruling are “reputation management companies”.

He said: “They now have the power to ask for embarrassing information about their clients to be removed.

“If I was the chief executive of a reputation management company, I would be laughing.”

He said that the ruling “raised the bar so high that the old rules of the internet no longer apply”.

Prof Floridi is director of research at the Oxford Internet Institute, which is based in St Giles.

The case which triggered the ruling was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.

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