PTI reports that France’s National Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) has gone and done it – they’ve fined Google $112,000 for failure to fully comply with requests to remove search results from people who have made requests under “right to be forgotten.”
The dispute between France’s data protection agency (CNIL) and Google has been going on since last June, when the CNIL demanded that Google delist results across all domains and countries – and not just county-specific results. Google appealed (of course!) but France denied the appeal in September, 2015.
That France believes it can impose its laws across all countries is …. cute? hubris? irrational? You can fill in the blank for yourself, but I do understand why Google has not complied.
Google had attempted to assuage the French regulators by basing search results for delisted urls on the IP addressses, so that someone in France searching for a delisted url would not find it even if they searched google.com instead of google.fr.
France was having none of that, however:
“Contrary to what Google says, delisting on all extensions does not impinge on freedom of expression in that it does not involve any removal of Internet content,” the CNIL said.
Google says it has received 86,600 requests in France involving more than a quarter million Web pages, and has honoured just over half of them. Those turned away can appeal to a judge or, more often, to CNIL, which has received 700 complaints of which 45 per cent were deemed legitimate and forwarded to Google.
“As a matter of principle, we respectfully disagree with the idea that a national data protection authority can assert global authority to control the content that people can access around the world,” Google’s privacy chief Peter Fleischer said in July.
The fine is a drop in the bucket for Google, of course, but it’s clear that this battle is far from over.