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| November 15, 2019

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Google Declined The French Demand to Globally Expand Right to be Forgotten

Google Declined The French Demand to Globally Expand Right to be Forgotten

| On 29, Sep 2015

“The right to be forgotten” in Europe, forced search engines to remove inappropriate, outdated or any irrelevant information about an individual from search result pages, which was introduced back in 2014. Then Google developed a form to make it easy to submit requests.


Keep in mind that the webpage itself won’t disappear from Google, and it will be available in other search engines or even by typing the URL directly (you can avoid that by putting in a request in to every search engine). Bear in mind also, that the information will still be in Google, it’s just hidden from European versions of its sites.


But apparently this is not enough for the French, they are pushing for a global deletion and are the first country in the history of the internet to do so. In June 2015, the Commission Nationale de L’informatique et des Libertés which is the French “National Commission of Information and Liberation”, ordered Google to remove results from all worldwide sites but Google refused their order.


What the CNIL said:

in accordance with the CJEU (European court of justice) judgement, the CNIL considers that in order to be effective, delisting must be carried out on all extensions of the search engine and that the service provided by Google search constitutes a single processing”.

(Obtained from The Guardian)


Google have responded by saying:

“We’ve worked hard to implement the right to be forgotten ruling thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe, and we’ll continue to do so. But as a matter of principle, we respectfully disagree with the idea that a national data protection authority can assert global authority to control the content that people can access around the world.”

(Obtained from The Guardian)


In other words, Google simply doesn’t want the French or any individual country’s regulators to control what can appear on search results in a different territory.
Google asked CNIL to drop their demands, but the CNIL rejected their request and are now threatening penalties of €150,000 ramping up to €300,000 for repeat offences.


So, the real question here is, who has the authority to choose what should or should not be searchable on the internet?  And, is it worth asking Google to remove personal information on request?

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