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Google Appeals French 'Right to Be Forgotten' Rule on Data Privacy

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By Todd Beamon   |   Thursday, 19 May 2016 10:50 PM

Google on Thursday appealed a decision by France's data privacy oversight agency that the search engine must remove or censor "right to be forgotten" URLs throughout the world.

In 2014, Europe's top court ruled that Google must respond to user requests to remove "irrelevant" or "outdated" links in searches of their names, TheNextWeb.com reports.

But Google, based in Mountain View, Calif., worked toward a compromise. It would enforce the rule in Europe but retain the content in other markets, including the United States, by creating different privacy standards and rules, SearchEngineLand.com reports.

The National Commission on Informatics and Liberty in March, however, ruled that Google must delist the content across all of its domains worldwide — fining the company $112,000 for noncompliance, The New York Times reports.

By contrast, Google's revenues totaled nearly $75 billion last year.

The company appealed the March decision on Thursday to France's highest administrative court, the Conseil d'√Čtat.

"We comply with the laws of the countries in which we operate," Kent Walker, Google’s global general counsel, wrote in a blog post in Le Monde, the French newspaper. "But if French law applies globally, how long will it be until other countries — perhaps less open and democratic — start demanding that their laws regulating information likewise have global reach?

"This order could lead to a global race to the bottom, harming access to information that is perfectly lawful to view in one’s own country.

"For example, this could prevent French citizens from seeing content that is perfectly legal in France," Walker argued. "This is not just a hypothetical concern.

"We have received demands from governments to remove content globally on various grounds — and we have resisted, even if that has sometimes led to the blocking of our services."

As of Thursday, Google has only granted 430,787 requests from European users to remove such personal data out of the more than 1.5 million requests it has received since the 2014 ruling.

The removal rate totals 43 percent, according to the search engine's data.

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Google on Thursday appealed a decision by France's data privacy oversight agency that the search engine must remove or censor "right to be forgotten" URLs throughout the world.
google, appeals, france, right, forgotten, rule, data, privacy
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2016-50-19
 

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