You probably remember that the European Court approved a ruling in May 2014 concerning the « right to be forgotten”, also called “right to delisting”. Theoretically, a European citizen only needs to fill in an application and forward it to the company that runs the search engine. If this application meets certain criteria, you will be delisted. However, it was recently revealed that Google, the most popular search engine, only delivers a ‘minimum service’ and that they refuse to apply the ruling world-wide.
The European Court of Justice ruled that « the delisting can only be efficient if it applies to all extensions and if the ‘Google Search’ service is applied in the same way all over the world ».
Actually, it seems that Google is only delisting searches in extensions from Europe. If you live in Belgium for example and your application to be delisted has been approved, your data will no longer appear via google.be but it might still be accessible through google.com.
Does this mean that Google respects the ruling of the European Court of Justice? According to the French National Commission for Computing and Liberties (NCIL) the answer is “NO”. In June 2015 the CNIL filed a complaint against the American company in order to obtain a world-wide “delisting”
As for Google, they oppose this ruling and argue that 95% of all searches in Europe are made from a local version and that furthermore no country has the right to control what people in other countries can or cannot see.
This has led to another legal battle and is further proof that it is not easy to delete your tracks on the World Wide Web. We cannot repeat it enough: if you do not want to lose control of your data, you should not publish them in the first place!
Did you publish sensitive data on the Internet or have you found damaging information about you on the Web? Do you have questions or problems filling in the “right to delisting” application? Don’t panic and contact the Commission for the protection of privacy.