Tuesday

20th Feb 2018

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 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 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.

EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme

An MEP voluntary pension scheme is running a €326 million actuarial deficit. The Luxembourg-based fund, set to manage to scheme, is said to have invested the money in controversial sectors like the arms industry.

EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme

An MEP voluntary pension scheme is running a €326 million actuarial deficit. The Luxembourg-based fund, set to manage to scheme, is said to have invested the money in controversial sectors like the arms industry.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs approve anti-smuggling bill on tobacco
  2. SPD members start voting on new Merkel-led government
  3. Barroso lobbied Katainen for Goldman Sachs
  4. Berlusconi's coalition ahead with 34.7% support
  5. Moscovici: Greece '99 percent' there to get new bailout
  6. Simone Veil to enter France's Pantheon in July
  7. German poll puts far-right AfD ahead of SPD for first time
  8. Commissioners poised to join EU-Mexico trade talks

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  2. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  3. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  4. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  5. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  6. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  7. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  9. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  10. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  11. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  12. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström

Latest News

  1. A European budget: securing a prosperous future for Europe
  2. Poland wrong to log in ancient forest, says EU lawyer
  3. EU taxpayers risk bailing out MEP pension scheme
  4. Commissioner Katainen confirms Barroso lobbied him
  5. Eurogroup chief pledge on transparency after meeting MPs
  6. Poland shows no sign of concessions to Commission
  7. Spain's De Guindos to be ECB vice-president
  8. Conservative 'buccaneering Brexit' narrative unrealistic