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France cannot impose “right to be forgotten” on Google

The advocate general of the European Court of Justice has given his opinion on the “right to be forgotten” conflict between France and Google, and the opinion is relatively simple: France does not have the right to impose its own considerations on a company which operates outside its jurisdiction, notes “The French regulator can force Google to de-list search results on the grounds of privacy in France, and generally across the EU, though it does not have the authority to impose itself on the companies worldwide footprint. As the advocate general notes, the repercussions of such a ruling would have too much potential to cause damage in various other scenarios… And while the European Court of Justice does not have to follow the opinion of the Advocate General, it generally does.” “This is a really important case pitting fundamental rights to privacy against freedom of expression,” said Richard Cumbley, global head of technology at law firm Linklaters. “The case highlights the continuing conflict between national laws and the internet, which does not respect national boundaries. The opinion contains a clear recommendation that the right to remove search results from Google should not have global effect. There are a number of good reasons for this, including the risk other states would also try and supress search results on a global basis. This would seriously affect people’s right to access information.” The case dates back to the early months of 2018, with CNIL, France’s data protection watchdog, suggesting the search giant should have to enforce any right to be forgotten rulings to all of its domains instead of just that of the home nation of the challenging regulator. Read more

  • Wednesday, 23 January 2019

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