Google’s informal appeal against a French order to apply the so-called “right to be forgotten” to all of its global Internet services and domains, not just those in Europe, has been rejected. The president of the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), France’s data protection authority, gave a number of reasons for the rejection, including the fact that European orders to de-list information from search results could be easily circumvented if links were still available on Google’s other domains.
CNIL’s president also claimed that “this decision does not show any willingness on the part of the CNIL to apply French law extraterritorially. It simply requests full observance of European legislation by non European players offering their services in Europe.”
As you’ve probably gathered, Google disagrees with CNIL’s stance. In a July blog post regarding the case, the company’s global privacy chief, Peter Fleischer, wrote: “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. We believe that no one country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access.”