Google will review Europe-only policy for ‘right to be forgotten’

AFP Photo / Lionel Bonaventure

Google is only removing search results from European websites when individuals invoke their “right to be forgotten”, contrary to regulators’ guidelines, but will review that approach soon, the company’s chief legal officer said on Monday.

The issue of how far the so-called right to be forgotten should extend has concentrated the minds of Europe’s privacy regulators since the continent’s top court ruled in May that individuals could have “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” information removed from search results.

Google has consistently argued that it believes the ruling should only apply to its European websites, such as Google.de in Germany or Google.fr in France.

But the group of privacy watchdogs from EU countries, the Article 29 Working Party, concluded in November that they want search engines to scrub results globally because of the ease of switching from a European domain to Google.com.

David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer, said the Internet giant’s approach had not changed since November and it would review it when a group of experts publishes a report on last year’s court judgment towards the end of this month.

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