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Google has been ordered by a court in the Netherlands to remove fake Google Reviews and hand over the IP addresses of the people who posted the reviews.
The case involved a Dutch children’s nursery that had been the victim of a string of negative, non-authentic reviews posted by users hiding behind false online identities.
The nursery was able to prove that both the reviews and users were fake by showing that the reviews had been copied and pasted from other websites and the users’ profile pictures had been taken from a website remembering dead Americans.
Google has now been ordered to take down the reviews and hand over the IP addresses of the users so that the nursery can take the users to court personally.
It is the first time that Google has ever been ordered to hand over IP addresses of its users and is a landmark decision regarding the right to privacy in the EU. The search engine giant has not said whether it plans to obey the court order or appeal.