Google argues privacy right is wrong in clash with French czar

French privacy authority CNIL asked for the so-called right-to-be-forgotten to global search results


Google’s top privacy chief attacked France’s bid to extend the so-called right-to-be-forgotten to global search results, saying internet freedom would be brushed aside if less democratic parts of the world embraced the same policy.

Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel, said the company will continue to fight an attempt by French privacy authority CNIL to force the search-engine giant to remove links to contentious content from global search results, not just its local French site.

“This is not hyperbole — if the CNIL’s approach of global removals were to be embraced as the standard internet regulation, in the end the world of internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place,” said Fleischer, who was sharing the podium with the French agency’s head, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin. 
The European Union’s highest court, in a precedent-setting ruling in May 2014, created a right to be forgotten — allowing people to seek the deletion of links on search engines if the information was outdated or irrelevant. While the ruling is only valid in the 28-nation bloc, Google has clashed in the French courts over CNIL’s attempt to apply the ruling beyond EU domains.