The controversial "right to be forgotten" rule, which allows Europeans to have more control over what is discoverable about them on the Internet, is again the subject of debate in France.
France's data-privacy regulator, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) has issued an order to Google to remove requested content on all of its domains. Currently, French citizens who request information to be removed from Google see it nixed from google.fr. The CNIL wants Google to expand that to all Google domains, including its most popular, google.com.
The refrain is one Google has heard before in Europe since the "right to be forgotten" ruling went into effect in May 2014. The policy, which spans the entire European Union, allows Europeans to ask Google and other search engines to remove search results about them. The caveat is that those links must be no longer relevant or in some way invalid. The onus is on the user to prove their results fall into either of those categories. If they do, Google and other search engines remove the offending results from their search results.
Google, the dominant force in search in Europe with over 90 percent market share, has been vocal in its discontent with "right to be forgotten." The company argues that it simply shares Web page links and does not produce content. The search company has also complained that it's overrun with takedown requests and determining whether to allow or deny them is time consuming.
Google issues with the "right to be forgotten" ruling extend to the law's practicality. Google is solely removing the offending link from its search results; the source URL is still active on the page it was published and if users plug the link into their browser directly, they will be able to access it. If a user only asks Google to remove a link, it's possible the offending Web page will be available on other search engines that didn't receive a takedown request. Actually scrubbing the Web of a particular item, in other words, is practically impossible.
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