French data regulator rejects Google’s right-to-be-forgotten appeal

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Search engine’s attempt to block French order to apply delistings to its global domain, not just European sites, is rejected.

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Google’s appeal against the global enforcement of “right to be forgotten” removals has been rejected by the French data regulator, reports The Guardian.

The Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) ordered Google in May to apply RTBF removals not only to the company’s European domains such as google.co.uk or google.fr, but to the search engine’s global domain 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.

Read more of this report from The Guardian.

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