France tells Google: expand 'right to be forgotten' globally, or else

It's been a tough year for Google, especially after it was told it must delist search results as part of the so-called "right to be forgotten" ruling. In that time, the company has vetted each individual request, throwing more than half of them out, but also getting some of its decisions wrong. CNIL, the French privacy watchdog, also takes exception with Google's judgement, but is more worried that when it does carry out a delisting, links are only removed from Google results in Europe. The regulator today announced it's giving the search giant 15 days to make them apply globally or face sanctions.

CNIL says that according to the European Court of Justice, Google must remove links "on all extensions of the search engine and that the service provided by Google search constitutes a single processing." Google, however, believes it's doing exactly what is asked of it: "We've been working hard to strike the right balance in implementing the European Court's ruling, co-operating closely with data protection authorities. The ruling focused on services directed to European users, and that's the approach we are taking in complying with it."

Right now, the regulator's demands serve only a notice, but if that period expires without any action on Google's part, CNIL will draft a report asking the CNIL Select Committee to establish a formal judgement against the company. This would likely come in the form of a fine, something Google is familiar with following previous privacy rulings in France and in Europe. CNIL threatened to take action last month, but is only now acting upon it.

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