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The French CNIL instructs Google to broaden its ‘right to be forgotten’

bing forget me
A year ago the European Court of Justice (ECJ) requested that search engines ought to give each internet user the opportunity to have, at their demand, information concerning them deindexed in such cases where the material is considered “inadequate, not or no longer relevant or excessive”.

The ‘right to be forgotten’ procedure judged as insufficient by the CNIL

A dereferencing procedure has been launched by Google, however only the information on the European versions of the search engine is currently being deindexed. They therefore remains accessible through other versions Google.
The CNIL, the French data regulator, considers that the implementation of the ‘right to be forgotten’ is to this day unsatisfactory. Consequently the CNIL decided to formally notify Google in order for them to carry out dereferencing on every version of their search engine.
Google is facing legal action and has been given 15 days to act upon this demand. Without this the CNIL will be able to initiate a penalty procedure which will force Google to pay a fine, one which is capped at 150 000 euros.

A positive measure which incurs the risk of not being achieved according to Reputation VIP

Bertrand Girin, Reputation VIP’s CEO, agrees with the CNIL: “we are supporting the CNIL in their procedures. Since our beginnings with Forget.me we have raised the inconsistency regarding Google’s management of this measure. Currently the mere use of a non-European version of the search engine to find deindexed information is sufficient, hence the internet surfers’ protection fails to meet the standard the ECJ aimed for when making their decision”.

Nevertheless we are curious to see how Google reacts to this measure. According to Bertrand Girin “we must be apprehensive about Google’s reaction regarding this formal notice. It is not in Google’s interest to follow the CNIL’s wishes. Accepting the dereferencing on the international version could bring up numerous questioning from other countries. If Google starts deindexing sections on the American version of Google, the country’s residents could ask themselves why this measure is not also applicable to them. Furthermore, Google will have to adapt its procedure of receiving demands; some people could attempt to use European law to have information deleted in their country of residence on the basis that Google does not request any proof of residency but only ID.

All in all these principles will, according to Bertrand Girin, encourage Google to “fight in order to safeguard its international search engines from being subject to the European’s right to be forgotten”.

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