France Says Google Must Honour the "Right to Be Forgotten" Around the World

By Adam Clark Estes on at

Europe’s “right to be forgotten” rules have been around for a while, but they pretty much just applied to Europeans who wanted to hide embarrassing or incorrect content about them. Now a French court says that Google needs to go a step further and apply the rules to all of its domains.

In the past, the “right to be forgotten” only applied to specific country’s domains. So you could get a link removed from Google.fr but not Google.com. Now, after a months-long battle between Google and Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) means that the google.com links must come down too. The agency first ordered the search giant to honour the right to be forgotten rules around the world back in May and has finally rejected Google’s appeal. CNIL said in a statement:

Contrary to what Google has stated, this decision does not show any willingness on the part of the CNIL to apply French law extraterritorially. It simply requests full observance of European legislation by non European players offering their services in Europe.

It’s still a little bit unclear exactly how this will impact Google users outside of Europe. However, it’s very clear that France is serious. If Google doesn’t apply the rules to all of its domains, the company will face fines of up to €300,000 (£216,515) per offence.

[The Guardian]

Image via AP