Sixteen years ago, a Spaniard named Mario Costeja Gonzalez had hit financial difficulties.
To solve them, a property of his was put up for auction - the details of which were covered in a newspaper, which subsequently went online.
The auction happened in 1998, and with those troubles now behind him, Mr Gonzalez is keen to move on.
But there's a problem: whenever you search for his name, news about the auction still features prominently. He argued that this continued to damage his reputation, and should be removed from Google's search results.
On Tuesday, the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union agreed with him, and in doing so set a major precedent over what is referred to as the "right to be forgotten". ...
Google ruling 'astonishing', says Wikipedia founder Wales - Dave Lee, BBC News, 14 May 2014
A ruling forcing Google to remove search results has been described as "astonishing" by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
... Also looking at implications beyond Europe, Canada's Financial Post quotes lawyer Geoff White as saying "I think some privacy advocates might leverage this decision to recommend that Canada follow a similar path, particularly with minors."
Coverage in the Washington Post reflected the view that the ruling would put Europe firmly at odds with the more hands-off approach taken by the US government on data privacy.
A different perspective, and one certainly not expressed by Google, was offered by law firm CompactLaw: "We would argue that the 'right to be forgotten' is a fundamental right for living a life online.
"We would also argue that enshrining this right will actually encourage more sharing and personal content - so will actually benefit media companies like Google."
European Commission vice-president Viviane Reding, who has led the EU's data privacy efforts, took to her Facebook page immediately after the ruling.
"The ruling confirms the need to bring today's data protection rules from the 'digital stone age' into today's modern computing world where data is no longer stored on 'a server', or once launched online disappears in cyberspace," she wrote.
"This is exactly what the data protection reform is about - making sure those who do business in Europe, respect European laws and empowering citizens to take the necessary actions to manage their data."
And despite first being published in 2012, this assessment of the key issues around the "right to be forgotten" was circulated widely on social media after the ruling. In it, professor of law Jeffrey Rosen concluded that whichever way any future law evolved, "it's hard to imagine that the Internet that results will be as free and open as it is now".