So where do Europeans stand in relation to the removal of Google search results worldwide?
Since Google ordered to remove search results worldwide, Europeans are eagerly awaiting the French High Court’s final decision on an appeal.
In May 2015 French data regulator ordered Google to apply Right to be Forgotten removals of search results not only to the company’s European domains such as google.co.uk or google.fr, but to the search engine’s global domain google.com.
After Google’s representations were rejected and following its refusal to affect the removal of search results globally, the French regulator issued Google with a penalty of 100,000 Euros. Google appealed to France’s highest court, the Council of State (Conseil d’État). A decision in the case is expected by the end of 2017.
Google’s position is that it will not delist search results from all its search engine extensions. You can read here Google’s reasons for refusing to remove search results from Google worldwide.
The French data regulator’s position is that Google has come a long way in complying with European data requirements but only a measure that applies to all processing by the search engine, with no distinction between the extensions used and the geographical location of the internet user making a search, is legally adequate to meet the requirement under the Right to be Forgotten.
The position of Cohen Davis solicitors is that any data, which is found to be unlawfully processed anywhere in the EEA and which is resulting in delisting of search results under the Right to be Forgotten, must not then be processed outside of the EEA.
This is because under European data protection laws, any organisation that transfers personal data to a country outside of the EEA, must do so under the same conditions of processing which applies to processing of the same data within the EEA.
If follows that if processing of personal data is unlawful within the EEA, it must also be unlawful outside of the EEA.
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