This story is about Google’s legal battle against the right to be forgotten and its detailed background.

Paris-France rejected Google’s appeal to limit the right to be forgotten (RTBF), this Monday, September 24, 2015, saying compliance must be global. Google may face heavy fines, and the scope of the law may expand to the broader EU territory.

If you are a jerk like me who has been exploiting the cyber technology carelessly since 20 years or so, you may be embarrassed sometimes by what you posted as juvenile or may be afraid of your cyber activity history. You would probably welcome this EU initiative that allows you “to be forgotten” from the search engines.

All you have to do is to fill a form available online and submit your request to remove particular website regarding information about yourself. The search Engine will assess your application and will de-list it from their search results if the public interest is not compromised. The Url containing the data will remain on the internet, but it will be excluded from the search results.

Right to be forgotten is the reflection of citizen’s desire that private data about themselves must be removed on their request. It has emerged as a fundamental right in the recent decade, and it reflects the claim of an individual to have certain data deleted so that third persons can no longer trace them. EU already considers it a fundamental component of human Rights Law.

The recent conflict stemmed from a ruling from a 2014 European Court of Justice that European citizens can demand search engines to delete results for their name when they are out of date, irrelevant or inflammatory, in compliance with the right to be forgotten.

However, the newspapers and the media companies are exempted by this data protection law. However, EU doesn’t consider search engines as media companies and hence they were obliged to delist all data that is “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant.”

In June 2015, the French regulator, (CNIL), ordered the US company to delist search results affected by RTBF requests from all its websites, including Google.com.

Yet, Google refused to scrub the data globally exposing itself to heavy fines. Google insisted that this law may be used by authoritarian governments to censor vital information from their citizens. It further argued that one nation should not have a right to dictate what citizens globally are accessing through the internet. Google also objected the RTBF as a restriction to the freedom of Speech.

“Global de-listing remains too controversial without an international agreement,” said Luciano Floridi, a professor at Oxford University who was on the panel advising Google.

The French Data protection authority, CNIL, says it has no interest in helping other countries’ governments misuse the RTBF.

 – Tazeen Hasan, Correspondent (Tech)

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