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France Gives Google 15 Days to Expand ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Worldwide

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The European Court of Justice ruled last year on “right to be forgotten,” where citizens can have search engines delete out of date or inflammatory content from appearing in search results. Google has complied, but only across their European engines, and the European regulators are demanding the policy be made global.

"In accordance with the (European court) judgment, the CNIL considers that in order to be effective, de-listing must be carried out on all extensions of the search engine and that the service provided by Google search constitutes a single processing," the CNIL regulator said.

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Since the ruling, Bing and Yahoo have started de-listing requests that they deem are appropriate, however, Google has put up a fight, refusing to honor requests globally.

"The ruling focused on services directed to European users, and that's the approach we are taking in complying with it," a spokesman for Google told Reuters.

The French regulators have decided that this is not enough, and have given Google an ultimatum, agree to de-list results globally or face potential sanctions from the country. The power of their sanctions are limited though, as they are only able to fine the tech giant up to 150,000 euros ($168,000).

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“If Google Inc does not comply with the formal notice within the fifteen days the President will be in position to nominate a Rapporteur to draft a report recommending to the CNIL Select Committee (the Committee in charge of imposing sanctions in case of violation of the French data protection law) to impose a sanction to the company.” CNIL’s statement read.

The battle over ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ has sparked debate over individual privacy versus the right of information, and both sides appear to be having difficulty finding a comfortable balance between the two.

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