Tech giant Google will not have to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law globally following a ruling by an E.U. court.
Reuters reports that Google will not be forced to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law worldwide following a ruling by a top E.U. court. This means that while Google will have to remove links to sensitive personal data from Internet search results in the E.U. when required, it does not have to remove these results from searches from other parts of the world.
The case is being viewed by policymakers and companies as a test of whether or not European Union laws can be extended beyond the continent’s own territory. The ruling applies to all search engines and is surprisingly positive news for the tech industry which has been heavily scrutinized in recent months with talks of heavy regulations.
In the judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union stated that the right to have personal data protected is not an absolute right. The court stated in its ruling: “The balance between the right to privacy and the protection of personal data, on the one hand, and the freedom of information of Internet users, on the other, is likely to vary significantly around the world.”
Google commented on the decision stating: “It’s good to see that the court agreed with our arguments.” Patrick Van Eecke, global chair of the data protection practice at law firm DLA Piper, stated that the ruling would directly impact the effectiveness of a successful right to be forgotten application as it would only apply to searches within the E.U.
“This might obviously be frustrating for people who will see that people from outside Europe will still be able to find the de-listed search results when performing the same search on Google in New York, Shanghai or any other place in the world,” he added.