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26/10/2020  
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SOCIETY AND CONSUMER
Google removes websites links

Europe wants Google to expand the "right to be forgotten" to the rest of the world


A panel of privacy regulators on Wednesday called for the search engine to give Web users the power to have Google take down links to embarrassing or outdated content throughout the world, in a dramatic escalation of a court ruling earlier this year.
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In its May ruling the European Court of Justice ordered Google to remove“inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” websites links, out of concern for people’s privacy. The ruling cemented what has become known as the “Right to be Forgotten.” The links have so far only taken down on European versions of its search engine, however, such as France’s google.fr or Spain’s google.es. 

On Wednesday 26 November, the European data protection authorities assembled in the Article 29 Working Party  have adopted guidelines on the implementation of the European Court of Justice judgment. These guidelines contain the common interpretation of the ruling as well as the common criteria to be used by the data protection authorities when addressing complaints.

It remains unclear whether the panel was also calling for Google to allow people around the globe to ask that links be taken down, or if it just wants the links already scrubbed from European versions to be removed from google.com as well.

The new guidelines are not binding, but they nonetheless increase pressure on Google and are sure to meet heavy opposition from transparency advocates. “Under E.U. law, everyone has a right to data protection,” the panel said in a statement.

“limiting de-listing to E.U. domains... cannot be considered a sufficient means to satisfactorily guarantee the rights of data subjects according to the ruling,” it added. “In practice, this means that in any case de-listing should also be effective on all relevant .com domains.”

Last month, Google said that it had agreed to remove more than 170,000 websites from its search results, representing about 41 percent of the requests it had received.

Wednesday’s guidelines add to a bad week for Google in Europe. The European Parliament is expected to vote on Thursday on a nonbinding plan to call for the company to split its search engine services off from the rest of its offerings, out of antitrust concerns.


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