Thursday

22nd Feb 2018

EU regulators want right-to-be forgotten to go global

Demands by EU citizens for their names to no longer appear in a search engine result following a right-to-be forgotten request could be extended worldwide.

“From the legal and technical analysis we have been doing, it should include the dot coms. That is all that we are saying,” the head of the EU’s main privacy regulatory body, the article 29 working party, Isabelle Falque-Pirrotin, told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (26 November).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Google has received some 174,226 requests to have links removed since the Court’s ruling (Photo: Trey Ratcliff)

It means Google, for instance, would also have to de-list any link from its main Google.com site in the US and not just from its European-based affiliates like Google.co.uk or others.

The data regulators oppose limiting de-listing to EU domains. They say imposing a geographic border cannot guarantee rights to privacy would be respected.

Google chief Eric Schmidt has earlier said such rights should only be applied to domains based inside the EU.

It follows a European Court of Justice decision over the summer.

The Luxembourg-based court concluded it was reasonable to ask Google to amend searches based on a person’s name if the data is irrelevant, out of date, inaccurate, or an invasion of privacy.

Original content is not removed or altered in any way and can still be found using any other search query.

“It is important to repeat this because even five months after the decision of the court, there are still people thinking that the content has been deleted,” said Falque-Pirrotin.

As of Tuesday, the Internet giant has received some 174,226 requests to have links removed since the Court’s ruling.

The requests total 602,479 urls. Of those, some 41.5 percent have been de-listed or the equivalent of 208,520 links.

Most of the requests are from France (34,632), followed by Germany (29,528), and the UK (22,467).

Falque-Pirrotin’s announcement is part of a larger set of 13 guidelines for the search engines to follow on how to properly apply the ruling.

The guidelines are non-binding and may evolve over time.

The rules are designed to create a uniform application of the Court’s judgment and were adopted by the article 29 working party, composed of national data protection authorities, also on Wednesday.

The complete list is set for publication by the end of the week at the latest.

The regulators met twice with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Qwant to discuss the guidelines.

They also want greater transparency on the decisions by the search engines on the requests in terms of providing more statistics and reports.

The overall demands by the regulators may increase tensions from the firms who contest the Court’s ruling in the first place.

Critics say it oversteps the right to the freedom of expression. Advocates say it puts in place rules needed to ensure people’s privacy is respected.

Google, for its part, is also facing pressure from anti-trust regulators in Brussels over its market dominance.

MEPs in Strasbourg on Thursday are set to vote on a resolution on how tackle Internet dominance and monopolies.

Feature

Who governs the online world?

The Internet feels like it's always been there, so it's easy to forget how recently it became part of normality. But as it keeps growing, and attracts more controversy, who runs it?

Greek EU commissioner challenges bribery allegations

Dimitris Avramopoulos says he will mount a legal challenge to reveal the identities of people behind allegations that he, along with other former Greek ministers, had accepted money from a Swiss pharmaceutical giant.

News in Brief

  1. Belgian PM to host 11 EU leaders ahead of summit
  2. Tusk all but rules out pan-EU candidates in 2019 elections
  3. Tusk: EU budget agreed before 2019 elections 'unrealistic'
  4. Commission fines car cartels €546m
  5. Juncker: 'nothing' wrong in Katainen meeting Barroso
  6. Juncker appoints new head of cabinet
  7. MEPs decide not to veto fossil fuel projects list
  8. Factory relocation risks drawing Vestager into Italian election

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  2. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. International Climate ShowSupporting Start-Ups & SMEs in the Energy Transition. 21 February in Brussels
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  9. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  10. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  12. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP

Latest News

  1. UK seeks flexible transition length after Brexit
  2. Commission defence of Barroso meeting leaves 'discrepancies'
  3. MEPs bar WMD and killer robots from new EU arms fund
  4. Canete gets EU parliament pension while still commissioner
  5. Bank of Latvia sends deputy to ECB amid bribery probe
  6. We are not (yet) one people
  7. Intellectual property protection - the cure for Europe's ills
  8. Eastern states push back at rule of law conditions on funds