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article imageFrance hands Google ultimatum for worldwide right-to-be-forgotten

By James Walker     Jun 13, 2015 in Technology
France has warned Google that it must begin enforcing right-to-be-forgotten requests on its worldwide "" site as well as search results for individual countries within the next 15 days. If it fails to comply then sanctions will be imposed.
After the EU ruled against Google last year and granted people the ability to request the removal of listings from Google's search results, the search giant has been faced with thousands of such cases. It has acted by removing links to the results from the local Google site applicable to each country but the listings have remained visible on the worldwide "" site.
9to5Google reports that European countries are not happy with this though. Google has continued to ignore a French court ruling from last November that stipulated that it must remove links from as well as France is now threatening sanctions if it does not start to take action in the next 15 days.
French data protection regulator CNIL writes in its filing for the case that the original right-to-be-forgotten ruling "expressly requested that the delisting [of search results] should be effective on whole search engine, irrespective of the extension used" but that "delisting was only carried out on European extensions of the search engine and not when searches are made from '' or other non-European extensions."
CNIL has now handed Google an ultimatum which states that sanctions will be imposed if it does not begin delisting results from all of its domain extensions within the next 15 days. A Google spokesperson told Reuters that it has been trying to find "the right balance" to use when deciding which of its extensions should be subject to right-to-be-forgotten requests, saying "The ruling focused on services directed to European users, and that's the approach we are taking in complying with it."
Reuters notes that CNIL has no real power against Google even if it continues to fail to comply. CNIL can only impose fines of up to $168,000 which seems trivial when compared with Google's $66 billion revenue of last year.
More about Google, Eu, righttobeforgotten, Court, Ruling
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