Google’s top privacy lawyer declares it won’t give in to French government demands that it removes content from its search engine in ‘right to be forgotten’ cases in countries other than France.
On Friday, Peter Fleischer said in a blog post on the company’s website that the French data protection authority should not have asked Google to remove information from search results seen by people located in France other locations.
The ‘right to be forgotten’ was created by a European court ruling in 2014 and allows users to ask search engines to remove links to personal information about them on the grounds that it became irrelevant or outdated. If the search engine refuses, people can appeal to their national data protection authority to compel the search engines to remove the user’s information.
Since the creation of this right, Google consulted a panel of experts from the government and media to advise it on how to comply. The panel opposed the application of the right beyond the EU and Google removed items only for a search on its website in the country where the user asking for the removal resided.
Google was fined with $105.350 by the French data authority, the National Commission on Informatics and Liberty, for failing to remove content it had been asked to delete by French citizens under Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten’ globally. Google is planning to appeal the decision stating that France or any country should have no authority to censor the global internet.
Fleischer said France is trying to implement a correct balance between privacy and freedom of speech to every person on the planet. ‘Any such precedent would open the door to countries around the world, including non-democratic countries, to demand the same global power,’ he wrote in a post.