Google has appealed against France’s order that it must implement ‘Right to be forgotten‘ requests globally, rather than just within Europe, reports the WSJ. The company argued in a blog post that to comply would mean the Internet would only be as free as the least free country in the world …
A French court ruled that when Google agreed to remove a link from google.fr, it must do so from all other Google sites, including google.com – or face sanctions. Google argues that the effect of complying with the ruling would be “chilling.”
There are innumerable examples around the world where content that is declared illegal under the laws of one country, would be deemed legal in others: Thailand criminalizes some speech that is critical of its King, Turkey criminalizes some speech that is critical of Ataturk, and Russia outlaws some speech that is deemed to be “gay propaganda.”
If the CNIL’s proposed approach were to be embraced as the standard for Internet regulation, we would find ourselves in a race to the bottom. In the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.
Google said that it was wrong for one country to determine what someone in a different country could access.
Google said that it rejected the ruling “as a matter of principle” and had therefore asked the French data protection regulator CNIL to rescind the order. CNIL responded, saying that it will take up to two months to consider Google’s request before either withdrawing the order or fining the company for non-compliance.
Back in May, Google gave some examples of the easy and difficult decisions it is required to make when evaluating right to be forgotten requests.
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