As Google has been slowly following orders from European courts in honoring “right to be forgotten” requests, France has found the search engine giant may not be doing all it can to remove unwanted links. French privacy watchdog CNIL says that when Google does delist a requested link, they are only removing it from search results within Europe. The regulator has ordered Google to make the delistings apply globally within 15 days, or sanctions will be imposed.
CNIL is making its claim based on the previous European Court of Justice’s ruling, which allowed European residents to request that Google remove results that are considered outdated, inaccurate, or irrelevant information. The court 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,” meaning delisted from all of Google’s domains, such as .com, not just the French subdomain .fr, for example.
Google says it’s been doing exactly what the court ordered, arguing that because the ruling focused on services for Europeans, that’s the guideline they are sticking to. So when they delist, they remove links from European subdomains, such as .fr and .co.uk, but not from google.com.
Other European watchdogs made the same demand as CNIL last fall, and CNIL is now acting on a warning issued last month. If Google does not implement the changes within 15 days, CNIL will seek a formal committee judgement, which basically would end up with Google receiving a fine.