Google doesn’t agree with the French privacy watchdog requests to apply globally the decision last year to make available to people the right to be forgotten on the internet, which implies that some or all searches about them on the internet be taken down.
The right to be forgotten was passed last year by the Court of Justice of the EU. In the ruling it is stated that if any single individual wants a piece of information relating to his or her person removed from the internet (due to personal issues, public image issues, or whatever other various reasons), then the individual should be allowed to make a formal request to this extent.
This applies to all search engines, and not just to Google. If one makes said request, Google, Bing and the others must comply, and remove the unwanted info from their search engine results.
This does not mean that Google did not abide by the law. In the one year period since the decision by the European Court, it has received about 250 thousand requests implying the right to be forgotten. Of these, it has readily accepted 41 percent, as the others were either fake requests, or had other issues.
But Google’s decision was to remove the results only from its European version of the search engine, as it argued that a whole 95% of the people of Europe using Google search were doing so from their local sites and were not going onto US or other versions such as google.com.
However, criticism has arisen from the French data protection authority in this case, the CNIL. The problem seems to be that if anyone wants to gather some nasty info about your rowdy past, info which you’ve deleted from all EU search results, the individual can still access the US version of Google, for instance, and search for the data.
Google Inc. has respectfully disagreed with the order by the French CNIL in this case – to remove the data from all versions of its search engine. In their opinion, this violates the rights of many other national authorities on the matter, and implies that all abide by the French court’s ruling. They further specified in the blog post that CNIL has no right to present itself as a global authority on the matter.
But this is not only a matter of their disagreeing. It is also what a team of experts to which the company went with the problem think. The blog post concludes by saying that if any national authority would be allowed to make a decision with a global impact, than the Internet would cease to be global, and would function on the strictest policies of the strictest countries of the world.
Image source: androidcentral.com
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