France’s privacy watchdog today ordered Google to expand its delisting program to include all of its search properties around the world.
The decision by the CNIL comes more than a year after a European court ruled that users have the right to request that outdated or misleading information be removed from search engines, the so-called “right to be forgotten.”
Since then, Google has waged an aggressive campaign with policymakers and the public in Europe to have the ruling thrown out.
For the moment, however, its efforts seem to be having the opposite effect. France’s CNIL said that not only should such links be removed from the portion of its search engine that appear to European users, but the same links should be removed from any search property, including Google’s main .com search listings.
“In this respect, the CNIL received hundreds of complaints following Google’s refusals to carry out delisting on Internet links (or URL),” the agency wrote. “Following the assessment of the complaints, the CNIL has requested Google to carry out the delisting of several results. It was expressly requested that the delisting should be effective on whole search engine, irrespective of the extension used (.fr; .uk; .com …)”
The CNIL gave Google 15 days to comply or face penalties.
In a statement, Google disagreed with the CNIL that the court’s ruling applied to other search properties:
We’ve been working hard to strike the right balance in implementing the European Court’s ruling, co-operating closely with data protection authorities. The ruling focused on services directed to European users, and that’s the approach we are taking in complying with it.
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