Sunday

23rd Jul 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.

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

Lawmakers in Poland adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court, despite warnings from the EU that the move could trigger a sanction procedure over the rule of law.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

EU and UK negotiators presented their Brexit positions to identify common grounds this week, but that was made difficult by the scarcity of UK position papers.

News in Brief

  1. Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform
  2. GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017
  3. Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food
  4. France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court
  5. Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror
  6. Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'
  7. UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals
  8. Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  2. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  3. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  5. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  6. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  7. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  8. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Episode 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug
  9. CESICESI to Participate in Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee on Postal Services
  10. ILGA-EuropeMalta Keeps on Rocking: Marriage Equality on Its Way
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaEuFoA Director and MEPs Comment on the Recent Conflict Escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh
  12. EU2017EEEstonian Presidency Kicks off Youth Programme With Coding Summer School

Latest News

  1. Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years
  2. Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU
  3. EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions
  4. Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated
  5. Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive
  6. Mafia money pollutes the EU economy
  7. Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping
  8. Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary