EU: Google “right-to-be-forgotten” case referred by France to ECJ

EU judges will have to decide whether Alphabet’s Google has to remove certain web search results globally to comply with a previous privacy ruling after France’s supreme administrative court referred the issue to the top EU court.

Google has gone head to head with the French data protection authority, CNIL, over the territorial scope of the so-called “right to be forgotten,” which requires the world’s biggest search engine to remove inadequate or irrelevant information from web results under searches for people’s names.

Having been fined €100,000 (US$115,000) by CNIL in March 2016 for not delisting across national borders, Google appealed to France’s supreme administrative court, which on July 20 passed the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).

The dispute with CNIL arose after the ECJ ruled in 2014 that search engines such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing must comply with the “right to be forgotten”. Though Google did so, it only scrubbed results across its European websites such as Google.de in Germany and Google.fr in France, arguing that to do otherwise would set a dangerous precedent on the territorial reach of national laws.

Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, said in a written statement, “We’ve been defending the idea that each country should be able to balance freedom of expression and privacy in the way that it chooses, not in the way that another country chooses.”

Full Content: Reuters

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