Google advisory group opposes global Right to be Forgotten

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An advisory group recruited by Google has backed the company’s decision to only apply its ‘Right to be Forgotten’ censorship rule to countries in the European Union, rather than rolling it out globally.

EU regulators had previously called on Google to extend its Right to be Forgotten rule to include all countries around the world, not only those in the European Union.

In May, Google named its 8 member advisory group, which includes Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, to offer advice on how to implement the EU’s decision that required the search engine giant to remove personal information from search results unless it was judged to be in the interest of the public.

However, the ruling did not specify a geographical location and while whilst Google has applied the ruling across Europe, it hasn’t applied it elsewhere.

Currently, the removal of links to personal data under Right to be Forgotten has only been applied to European domains, such as google.co.uk, google.es and google.de – not google.com.

This means that search results that have been ‘removed’ can in fact still be viewed from google.com, even if it is being searched in Europe.

(Actually, it is worth pointing out that Google doesn’t completely delete information, but it does ensure that links don’t appear in search results).

The fact that some information is still available on google.com has angered regulators, claiming it goes against the privacy rights of residents in the EU.

Regulators in the EU say that any company which does business in Europe must follow the EU’s law on privacy. However, Google, and other companies in the U.S. have said that the rules may be an infringement on a person’s right to freedom of speech.

The 44 page report, which backs Google, was made available on Friday and is only likely to add further fuel to a potential showdown between Google and EU regulators, who are already at odds with the search engine giant over issues relating to changes in its privacy policy.

Source: The Advisory Council to Google

 

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