A French privacy watchdog has rules that Google should extend its Euopean ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling to the rest of its search engines worldwide.
In a press release, the Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés (or CNIL) upheld its decision earlier this year that Google must apply the right to be forgotten ruling to all of its search sites, including Google.com.
Google filed an informal appeal in July against the order to the president of CNIL, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, claiming that it would impede the public’s right to information, was a form of censorship and “risks serious chilling effects on the web”.
Falque-Pierrotin has rejected the appeal, saying that once a delisting has been accepted under the RTBF ruling it must be applied across all extensions of the search engine and that not doing so allows the ruling to easily be circumvented.
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.”
The rejection of the appeal means that Google now must comply with the order and remove the tens of thousands of delistings from its google.com and other non-European domains for named searches.
Google has no legal possibility to appeal the order at this stage under French law.
In a statement to Reuters, a Google spokesman said: “As a matter of principle, we respectfully disagree with the idea that a single national Data Protection Authority should determine which webpages people in other countries can access via search engines.”
CNIL said Google now must abide by the ruling, and if it does not, it could face fines in the coming months.