• Henry Park

"Right to be Forgotten" limited to EU

There is an ongoing debate over the scope of the EU "right to be forgotten". This right was established in 2014. Under it, an EU citizen can request to have "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" data deleted from search results. In light of this right, Google took the position that it may alter results based on a person's request but such altered results would be geographically limited to the EU.

In 2016, The French Supervisory Authority (CNIL) ordered Google to de-reference links in its search engines worldwide and not just its European search engines. Google appealed to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

On January 10, 2019, the Advocate General of the CJEU opined on this issue (in French). Although not the final word on the matter, it is an influential decision. The Advocate General found that the right to be forgotten was based on balancing the EU Charter's right to data protection against the other Charter's rights such as the right of access to information. He also found a territorial limitation on the right, and that the EU determination of the appropriate balance should not be applied across the world.

Image is from the public domain.

#privacy #GDPR