Google Wins Round in Fight Against Global Right to Be Forgotten

Google Wins Round in Fight Against Global Right to Be Forgotten

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Google shouldn’t have to apply the so-called right to be forgotten globally, an adviser to the EU’s top court said, according to Bloomberg.

While backing Google’s stance, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the EU Court of Justice said that search engine operators must take every measure available to remove access to links to outdated or irrelevant information about a person on request. The Luxembourg-based court follows such advice in a majority of its final rulings, which normally come a few months after the opinions.

Google has been fighting efforts led by France’s privacy watchdog to globalize the right to be forgotten, which was created by the EU court in a landmark ruling in 2014, without defining how, when and where search engine operators should remove links. This has triggered a wave of legal challenges.

The Alphabet unit currently removes such links EU-wide and since 2016 it also restricts access to such information on non-EU Google sites when accessed from the EU country where the person concerned by the information is located, referred to as geo-blocking. This approach was backed by Szpunar.

“Public access to information, and the right to privacy, are important to people all around the world, as demonstrated by the number of global human rights, media and other organizations that have made their views known in this case,” said Peter Fleischer, Google’s senior privacy counsel. “We’ve worked hard to ensure that the right to be forgotten is effective for Europeans, including using geolocation to ensure 99 percent effectiveness.” CNIL, France’s data privacy regulator, declined to comment.

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