French court fines Google over inadequate response to "right to be forgotten"Thursday 24 March 2016 17.53
The French data protection authority has fined Google €100,000 for an inadequate response to a European privacy ruling.
The only way for Google to uphold the privacy ruling was by delisting results popping up under name searches and linking them instead to outdated information across all its websites, France's information commission said.
The US Internet giant has been at loggerheads with several European Union data protection authorities since the European Court of Justice ruled in May 2014 that people could ask search engines to remove inadequate or irrelevant information - dubbed the "right to beforgotten".
Google complied, but it only scrubbed results across its European websites such as Google.de in Germany and Google.fr in France on the grounds that to do otherwise would have a chilling effect on the free flow of information.
In May last year the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique Nationale (CNIL) ordered Google to expand its application of the ruling to all its domains, including Google.com, because of the ease of switching from a European domain to Google.com.
"Contrary to Google's statements, applying delisting to all of the extensions does not curtail freedom of expression insofaras it does not entail any deletion of content from the Internet," the CNIL said.
A spokesman for Google, now a unit of holding company Alphabet Inc, said the company had worked hard to implement the "right to be forgotten ruling thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe."
"But as a matter of principle, we disagree with the CNIL's assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France, and we plan to appeal their ruling," Al Verney, Google's spokesman, said.