French privacy watchdog CNIL has denied Google‘s appeal against applying “right to be forgotten” removals to all of its global sites. Google was protesting a June decision from CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés), which saw the regulator threaten the search giant with sanctions. Google has been following recent European court decisions that gives individuals the right to file removal requests for certain information. However, Google was only removing search results from its European domains, such as Google.fr or Google.de.
The European Court of Justice ruled last year that people can ask Google to remove search results that are considered outdated, inaccurate, or irrelevant information. But because the company only de-lists links from European Google sites, the information is still easily available on other domains.
In June, CNIL ordered Google to remove requested results from all its websites, as the European Court of Justice’s ruling stated that links must be removed “on all extensions of the search engine and that the service provided by Google search constitutes a single processing.” Shortly after this, Google tried to appeal the order, on the grounds that while “right to be forgotten” is now law in Europe, it isn’t in other parts of the world.
Google’s global privacy chief, Peter Fleischer, wrote at the time:
If the CNIL’s proposed approach were to be embraced as the standard for Internet regulation, we would find ourselves in a race to the bottom. In the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place. We believe that no one country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access.
On Monday, the French privacy watchdog said that it would not accept Google’s appeal.
The President of the CNIL rejects Google’s informal appeal against the formal notice requesting it to apply delisting on all of the search engine’s domain names.
CNIL adds that if Google does not begin to comply with the order immediately, they will begin the process of preparing sanctions, which can start at 150,000 euros (about $168,000) and increase to 300,000 euros ($335,000) for repeat offenses.