It was a little over a year ago when a European court decided Google had to grant its citizens the right to be forgotten. As a refresher this is what the court said:
In an advisory judgment stemming from a Spanish case, The Court of Justice of the European Union said Google and other search engines do have control of individuals’ private information, given that they sometimes compile and present links to it in a systematic way.
The court found that under European law, individuals have a right to control over their private data, especially if they are not public figures. If they want irrelevant or wrong personal information about themselves “forgotten” from search engine results, they have the right to request it – even if the information was legally published.
People “may address such a request directly to the operator of the search engine … which must then duly examine its merits,” the ruling said.
Whether or not the request should be granted will depend “on the nature of the information in question and its sensitivity for the data subject’s private life and on the interest of the public in having that information, an interest which may vary,” it said.
Google must remove links to pages containing the information from results “unless there are particular reasons, such as the role played by the data subject in public life, justifying a preponderant interest of the public in having access to the information when such a search is made,” the court said.
At the time I remember reading this would only pertain to Google.cctld in Europe. Well now France is telling Google they must make it global or else. Google has been getting it from all ends lately, but when you hold the power they hold, it comes with the territory.
It’s been a tough year for Google, especially after it was told it must delist search results as part of the so-called “right to be forgotten” ruling. In that time, the company has vetted each individual request, throwing more than half of them out, but also getting some of its decisions wrong. CNIL, the French privacy watchdog, also takes exception with Google’s judgement, but is more worried that when it does carry out a delisting, links are only removed from Google results in Europe. The regulator today announced it’s giving the search giant 15 days to make them apply globally or face sanctions.
Read the full story on Engadget
We will see how this plays out, but it seems like another week and another European regulator wants to mess with Google. Yesterday we told you about Canada demanding Google block websites globally.
The question comes down to enforcement.
If a company is incorporated outside the jurisdictional borders of France, does France have the right to dictate what that company can and can not do.
In the end, that will depend on what agreements may exist between the countries in question which brings into play such secretive treaties as the TPP which are in negotiations.
Or in this case, if France has the power to punish Google within the operating parameters of their reach…and what backlash could result against their own economic requirements.
Imagine (however unlikely) Google shutting off access to information to france based on information sourced from French servers.
Does France have the right to manipulate a foreign websites seo…and can other countries do the same.
So many avenues this act (as well as Canadas declaration they have the right to force Google to block entire websites at a global level.
If these countries are provided that right…then what about Russia, China and North Korea…or is it a right only open to a select club?
And could the secretive treaties such as the TPP mean that Google could turn the tables and simply sue the governments into submission (assuming such is as suggested being a possibility)
Whatever the case…
The gennie is about to be let out of the bottle it would seem