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November 28, 2014

EU Publishes Right to Be Forgotten Guidelines

The European Union has published guidelines for the ‘right to be forgotten,’ law forced on Google and other search engines this spring.

The new rules, written by Europe’s Article 29 Working Party, demand Google apply the ‘right to be forgotten,’ law — which was handed down by the European Union Court of Justice in May — to all Google search results, not just those in Europe. This means the search engine firm is being told to remove the links from Google.com in the U.S. as well as from its European search engine.

Although Google has argued that the ruling of the European court did not encompass U.S. search, the Commission disagrees.

The Article 29 Working Party, which is made up of data protection representatives from each member state of the European Union, has also given Google a sound tongue lashing for contacting the media about article links it has removed — an action that actually puts the focus squarely on the very people who were seeking to restore their privacy.

“Although concrete solutions may vary depending on the internal organization and structure of search engines, de-listing decisions must be implemented in a way that guarantees the effective and complete protection of these rights and that EU law cannot be easily circumvented,” the guidelines read. “In that sense, limiting de-listing to EU domains on the grounds that users tend to access search engines via their national domains cannot be considered a sufficient means to satisfactorily guarantee the rights of data subjects according to the judgment. In practice, this means that in any case de-listing should also be effective on all relevant domains, including .com.”

The agency said while Google.com currently is used by only five percent of Europeans, that could change if they know they can access info which has been delisted from Google’s European search.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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