Thursday, March 31, 2016
Google Fined in France over ‘Right to be Forgotten’
On March 24, the French data protection agency (CNIL) announced it had fined Google 100,000 euros (about $117,000) for failing to adequately remove links to inaccurate, out-of-date and irrelevant data from its search engine results. Google had responded to the CNIL’s orders, which were based upon the landmark Court of Justice of the European Union ruling in the 2014 Costeja case, by incrementally expanding the scope of its link-scrubbing. At first it made the links unavailable only to individuals searching the national versions of its search engine, such as Google.fr and Google.de. Then, under continued pressure from the CNIL, the company began using geo-location data, such as ISP addresses, to make the links unavailable to anyone searching Google.com from the EU member state where the take-down request originated. Pointing out that a web searcher can easily cross member state lines in Europe or use a VPN connection to mask his or her location, the CNIL rejected this compromise and issued its fine. If its past actions are any guide, Goggle is likely to challenge the fine in court.