Permission to be wiped from the world’s leading search engine… Fuggetaboutit.
Yesterday, Google won a years-long legal battle in Europe over the EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling, allowing the search giant to refrain from filtering search results for Europeans outside of the continent.
In case you forgot…
The ruling follows 2014’s “right to be forgotten” act in Europe that allows European citizens the right to ask search engines to remove “sensitive” or “outdated” skeletons from their digital closets.
The case was brought to the European Court of Justice after the French data watchdog, CNIL, ordered Google to nix all search results for people who wanted their history scrubbed from Google searches, not only in France or the EU but globally.
Google wasn’t down with CNIL veering from its lane, and, as of yesterday, European justice officials agreed with Google’s level of hatorade.
A ruling to remember
Europe’s top court ruled that EU law requires Google to scrap the outdated or irrelevant search results about a user only within the EU.
The ruling states, “The operator of a search engine is not required to carry out a de-referencing on all versions of its search engine… It is, however, required to carry out that de-referencing on the versions corresponding to all the Member States…”
That could’ve been an indelible can o’worms
As of March 2018, Google had received a grand total of 655k requests from individuals demanding the removal of more than 2.4m links in Europe alone — and it wasn’t just from your European conspiracy theorist uncle. A large percentage of those requests came from corporations, politicians, and public figures.
The decision is a big victory for free-speech advocates, who struggled to see the line of such censorship.
Had the court not sided with Google, many feared that it could’ve resulted in a global domino effect of countries dictating all search results for their citizens.