A top court adviser for the EU has said that Google can limit the “right to be forgotten” to internet searches made within the European Union.
Back in 2016, Google was fined by France’s privacy watchdog CNIL for failing to delist sensitive information beyond the borders of the EU. Maciej Szpunar’s opinion on the case will likely help the search giant as the European Court of Justices judges generally follow the advice of the advocate general though they are not bound to do so.
Google’s senior privacy counsel, Peter Fleischer explained how the company has worked to protect European’s right to be forgotten, saying:
“We’ve worked hard to ensure that the right to be forgotten is effective for Europeans, including using geolocation to ensure 99 percent effectiveness.”
Right to be forgotten
A landmark ruling five years ago gave Europeans the right to ask search engines to delist certain information about them.
According to Szpunar, searches made from outside the EU should not be affected by the right to be forgotten. He explained how the right to be forgotten should not interfere with other fundamental rights, saying:
“The fundamental right to be forgotten must be balanced against other fundamental rights, such as the right to data protection and the right to privacy, as well as the legitimate public interest in accessing the information sought.”
Google has appealed a $115,000 fine from CNIL in March 2016 for failing to delist information across national borders which sent the case to the European Court of Justice.