The Council of State on Friday consecrated Google’s victory over the CNIL on the Internet users’ right to be forgotten, recognizing that this did not apply outside Europe as the French guardian of privacy wanted. . The high administrative court annulled a deliberation by the CNIL in March 2016, which condemned Google to a fine of 100,000 euros for having limited the “right to be forgotten” to only European versions of the search engine.
Consecrated in 2014 by the European justice system, the right to be forgotten allows every European to obtain, under conditions, the removal of links that appear in the results of a search engine after a request relating to his name. Since 2014 and the entry into force of the European right to be forgotten, Google has received requests for removal of referencing for 3.5 million Internet pages, which were satisfied for 46% of them.
Today’s decision is not a surprise, since the European Court of Justice, referred to precisely by the Council of State in the context of this case, had decided last September that the right to be forgotten of European Internet users could only apply in Europe, and not outside its borders.
The American group, supported by several human rights organizations, replied that respecting the “right to be forgotten” beyond the borders of the EU would have created risks for freedom of expression, in particular in certain areas. authoritarian countries. Microsoft and the Wikimedia Foundation, which hosts Wikipedia, had joined Google in the proceedings. The Alphabet subsidiary was also supported by the press freedoms NGOs Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (United States) and Article 19 (United Kingdom).