Friday

22nd Sep 2017

EU justice chief criticises Google on 'right to be forgotten'

The EU’s justice commissioner has accused internet giant Google of leading a campaign to shoot down data protection reforms.

Speaking in Lyon, France on Monday (18 August), the commissioner, Martine Reicherts, said: “Google and other affected companies who complain loudly” about a recent EU court verdict on personal data are “detractors … attempting to throw a new spanner in the works".

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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 and others "complain loudly" about the EU's planned data reforms - the EU's justice chief said Monday. (Photo: infocux Technologies)

The Luxembourg-based EU court in May ruled that Google must remove links to any content that is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” or face a fine.

The ruling was based on the bloc’s 1995 data protection law, which are to be revised by the end of the year.

Since the May ruling, more than 250,000 requests have been made to Google asking for information to be removed from the European part of its service.

The search-engine company, which controls around 85 percent of the EU online market, fears the new data reforms would enshrine “the right to be forgotten” across Europe, leading to a flood of claims to remove data.

Reicherts played down the implications of the court judgement, however.

"A sober analysis of the ruling shows that it does in fact not elevate the right to be forgotten to a 'super right' trumping other fundamental rights, such as the freedom of expression," she said.

"This ruling does not give the all-clear for people or organisations to have content removed from the web simply because they find it inconvenient."

Reicherts is the short-term replacement for fellow Luxembourg politician Viviane Reding, who took up a seat in the European Parliament following the European elections.

Reding tabled plans to re-write the EU’s now 19-year old laws on data protection in 2012.

But agreement on the new regime could not be reached between MEPs and government ministers before the May poll, leaving it to the mercy of the new parliament and commission which are to start work in September.

The draft bill would allow individuals greater control over the use of their data, including a right to have their data expunged from company records. It would also tighten the rules on data transfers to businesses and governments outside the EU.

Barnier: UK risks undermining trust in Brexit talks

A day before UK PM Theresa May sets out her Brexit strategy in Florence, top EU negotiator Michel Barnier told lawmakers in Rome: there can be no transitional deal for the UK without a withdrawal agreement.

EU 'embarrassed' by Catalan 'taboo'

Faced with the growing tension between the Spanish and Catalan governments, the member states and EU institutions would prefer not to get involved.

Barnier: UK risks undermining trust in Brexit talks

A day before UK PM Theresa May sets out her Brexit strategy in Florence, top EU negotiator Michel Barnier told lawmakers in Rome: there can be no transitional deal for the UK without a withdrawal agreement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  2. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  3. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  4. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  5. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  6. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  7. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  8. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  9. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  10. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  11. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  12. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies