France fines Google over "right to be forgotten"

Another case of the tech giant battling EU authorities...

google, business

Julien Behal / PA Archive

The French data protection authority has fined Google €100,000 after the US company inadequately responded to a privacy ruling.

In 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that people had the right to ask search engines to remove inadequate or irrelevant information.

Google was found to have only complied with this "right to be forgotten" for results across European websites (those with .de or .fr addresses for example), with the company claiming that scrubbing worldwide results would have "serious chilling effects on the web".

The Commission Nationale de l'Informatique Nationale (CNIL) instructed Google that the ruling extended over all domains, including, in May 2014.

The CNIL said:

"Contrary to Google's statements, applying delisting to all of the extensions does not curtail freedom of expression insofar as it does not entail any deletion of content from the Internet".

Google spokesman Al Verney argued that the company had implemented the ruling "thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe" but that "as a matter of principle, we disagree with the CNIL's assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France, and we plan to appeal their ruling".