Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

new-google-logo

With an unprecedented move, Google has recently made a new, decisive turning decision to its never-ending story with the European Union. As reported last week, the American tech giant is about to take the “Right to be Forgotten” case to the next level. Google indeed will soon hide content from all its global domains, including the American one, google.com, when accessed from a European country.

The right to be forgotten goes global

The move would represent a considerable change to how the Mountain View, California-based company’s users view its search results. Initially, Google had only hidden relevant results from its EU sites that fall under the right-to-be-forgotten rule every time a person from a European country searched for info, but only inside the Old Continent’s domains. From now on, according to Reuters and other media outlets, this info won’t appear anymore anywhere in the world, and all results will be filtered every time the search engine is accessed from a European Country.

The news, although not yet made official by Google and only revealed by people with “direct knowledge of the matter” in condition of anonymity, as reported by the New York Times, will have anyway a tremendous impact. In short it is the latest attempt by Google to comply with the 2014 landmark ruling by the European Court of Justice, which granted the EU citizens the right to ask web-search engines to remove personal information about themselves. Needless to say how the decision by the EU’s top court put Google in trouble and its enormous heritage of digital information at risk.

The old deal was not enough

Initial efforts by Google to comply with the brand new ECJ ruling, back in 2014, did not meet the EU Privacy regulators’ esteem. Since May 2014, Google has had to face more than 387,000 requests from individuals to remove links, evaluating around 1.3 million URLs and approving the 40% of them , according to the company’s transparency report, but this seemed still not enough.

Last September, CNIL, France’s powerful data protection authority, threatened to fine Google unless search results were removed from all its websites, meaning not just the European ones. Last June, CNIL openly called for Google to delist URLs when required worldwide, enlarging the “Right to be forgotten range”. Reuters now reports a spokeswoman for the French CNIL saying authorities had been informed about Google’s latest plans, which said that the “issue of territorial scope requires careful thought”. “These elements are currently the object of an inquiry by the services of the CNIL”.

Rise of “online censorship”?

Many now fear that an enlargement of the Right to be Forgotten ruling would result in a sort of severe online censorship. The Washington, D.C.-based NGO Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) has been historically very critical against] the EU ruling, saying it has inevitably curbed free expression. Now their evaluation after Google’s latest move is even harsher.

“We fear that in countries that engage in more severe online censorship and routinely restrict access to information, governments will demand that their censorship laws should be applied to global domains when accessed from their countries”, said Jens-Henrik Jeppesen, Representative and Director for European Affairs at CDT, in a statement last week. “That would be a serious step back for dissidents and others who seek to promote human rights and democracy in their countries”, he added.

Google’s mission at risk

The latest move by Google represents for sure a concession toward the adoption of a more conciliatory approach with European privacy regulators, although it can be a serious threat for the mission of the Californian tech giant. The ECJ’s landmark ruling is undoubtedly at odds with the company’s goal of providing “unfettered information” to people worldwide. Being the right to fall into the oblivion right or wrong, which would harm anyway Google’s mission,  the US tech-guru has always struggled so much to comply with the EU’s privacy rules.

Geo-political implications

The right to be forgotten is without a doubt a very delicate matter. From a social perspective, for instance, it draws automatically a debate between privacy activists against freedom of speech champions. But it should not be underestimated either on a geo-political view. The American Enterprise Institute, a stars and stripes conservative think tank, raised an interesting point just last week. Claude Barfield, former consultant to the office of the US Trade Representative expressed his critics against an alleged “race to the bottom” that Google has put itself into while trying to embrace the European requests.

“As for dealing with the EU on this issue, there is an obvious venue: the ongoing US-EU free trade negotiations (TTIP)”, he underlined. “The US should make it clear that the issue will become a high priority in the TTIP negotiations in coming months and years”, he added.

With the principle of free flow of data already secured in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that the US has recently concluded, one can be sure that the debate to have it enshrined in the transatlantic trade agreement will be long and bumpy.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

A Sting Exclusive: “One year on from the VW scandal and EU consumers are still in the dark”, BEUC’s Head highlights from Brussels

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

Parliament approves key directive regulating professional qualifications

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

The US bugged Europe: Is this news?

The role of public affairs in student NGOs

World Health Organisation and young doctors: is there any place for improvement?

Dangers of poor quality health care revealed ‘in all countries’: WHO report

Google strongly rejects EU antitrust charges and now gets ready for the worst to come

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

EU Commission closer to imposing anti-dumping duties on Chinese solar panel imports?

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

EU-Ukraine Free Trade Agreement sees the light as Moscow’s reaction once more looms

EU Ambassadors in the EP: a multilateral approach to global challenges needed

We know ethics should inform AI. But which ethics?


Re-thinking citizenship education: bringing young people back to the ballot box

EU to spend €135.5 billion in 2014 or 6.5% less than this year

Presentation of Juncker’s Investment Plan: Can 315 billion euros save the EU?

The EU bows to Turkey in view of the talks for a political settlement in Syria

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

Why is Grexit again in the news? Who is to pay for Eurozone’s banking problems?

At epicentre of Indonesia disaster, Guterres praises resilience of Sulawesi people

Google’s hot summer never ends: EC to launch ANOTHER antitrust inquiry against the American giant

Brexit: PM May must hush Boris Johnson to unlock the negotiations

Internet of Things: a Force for Good or Evil?

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

UN rights office appeals for peaceful Zimbabwe elections amid reports of intimidation

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

Shinzō Abe, on the right, and Jean-Claude Juncker at EU-Japan Summit in Tokyo last week. (Copyright: European Union, 2018 / Photo: Etienne Ansotte)

EU and Japan ratify first FTA ever to include Paris Climate Agreement provision

Women’s leadership ‘critical’ to future of Niger

Worldwide terror attacks have fallen for the third year in a row

The Council unblocks all EU budgets

These are the 3 key skill sets workers will need to learn by 2030

EU finally agreed to cut roaming charges in 2017 but criticism is always there

Trump to run America to the tune of his business affairs

Why the World Cup is a bit like international trade

EU and Indian flags at EU-India Summit in New Delhi last October (copyright EU 2018, Source: EC - Audiovisual Service)

India and the EU get close to revive talks on proposed Free Trade Agreement

Trump’s trade war splits the EU; Germany upset with Juncker’s “we can be stupid too”

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

Berlin favours economic and social disintegration in certain Eurozone countries

Vegans in France are using extreme tactics to stop people eating meat

Sustainable Infrastructure and Connectivity in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI): a stimulating China-EU dialogue at European Business Summit 2018

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

Europe’s far-right launches attacks on neighboring nations

Syria: Civilians bear brunt of unilateral sanctions, exacerbating ‘unparalleled suffering, destruction,’ says UN expert

The widely advertised hazards of the EU not that ominous; the sting is financial woes

ECB to people: Not responsible if you lose money on Bitcoin, your governments are

The decline of our oceans is accelerating, but it’s not too late to stop it

OECD: Mind the financial gap that lies ahead

Athens searches frantically for a new compromise between politics and economic reality

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

Eurozone: There is a remedy for regional convergence

€5 billion of EU energy efficiency project money spent on “comfort”

EU/Africa, Caribbean and Pacific: towards which partnership?

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

Human Resources Information Systems Specialist Trainee – 2013

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

Young and unemployed the perfect victims of ‘vultures’

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s