Top European court to decide if Google needs to purge disputed links from global index

A top European court will now decide whether Google must remove “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) links from its global search index. The French data protection authority, Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), previously argued RTBF can be defeated when disputed content remains in Google’s global index.
In 2015, CNIL demanded global delisting to enforce RTBF. Accordingly, the regulator has effectively sought authority over Google’s search results in countries outside Europe — beyond its legal jurisdiction.
Google complied within Europe but declined to do so globally. CNIL then fined Google roughly 100,000€ for not following its directive to purge disputed content globally.
Google has correctly resisted CNIL on the grounds that citizens of other countries should not be subject to French or European law. Google has defended limiting RTBF removals to European users and has taken a number of steps to prevent people in Europe from accessing RTBF links:
We’ve been working hard to strike the right balance in implementing the European Court’s ruling, co-operating closely with data protection authorities. The ruling focused

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Google wins ‘right to be forgotten’ case in Japanese high court

According to the The Wall Street Journal, Japan’s high court has ruled against a man seeking to have search results about him “forgotten.” While the court apparently didn’t take up the issue of an EU-style “Right to Be Forgotten,” it elevated the speech status of search results and declined to establish such a blanket right in the country.
The court said that any requests for content removal from search results needed to be assessed individually and that the public interest in the information had to be weighed against the potential harm to the individual. In the case at issue, a man convicted of child pornography charges sued to have that information about him removed from the index in Japan.
The Japanese Supreme Court said that the crime was serious and “continues . . . to be a matter of public interest.” In the European case establishing the Right to Be Forgotten, a Spanish citizen wanted information on past real

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Bing to censor Bing.com in the EU for Right To Be Forgotten searches

Bing announced today it has updated its policy around Right To Be Forgotten requests in the EU.
According to the announcement, Right To Be Forgotten material in the EU will be censored even on Bing.com, a change from its past policy around RTBF requests.
Previously, Bing removed material from its country-specific versions such as Bing.fr for France, or Bing.co.uk for the United Kingdom. However, people in those countries who went to Bing.com would still find Right to be Forgotten material.
With the policy updates, that is no longer the case.
Going forward, in addition to this practice, Bing will also use location-based signals (e.g., IP addresses) to delist the relevant URL on all versions of Bing, including Bing.com, for any user accessing Bing from the European country where the request originated. For example, if someone in France successfully requests delisting of a URL on Bing, in addition to delisting that URL from all applicable European versions of Bing, Bing will

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Report: 2 years in, 75 percent of Right to Be Forgotten asks denied by Google

It has been two years since the Court of Justice of the European Union established the “Right to be forgotten” (RTBF). Reputation VIP subsequently launched Forget.me as one way for consumers in Europe to submit RTBF requests to Bing and Google.
The company has periodically used consumer submissions through the site (130,000 URLs) to compile and publish aggregate data on RTBF trends. A new report looks at two years’ worth of cumulative data, on the nature, geographic location and success rates of RTBF requests.
The top three countries from which RTBF requests originate are the Germany, the UK and France. In fact more than half of all requests have come from Germany and the UK.

Google refuses roughly 70 percent to 75 percent of requests according to the data. The chart below reflects the most common categories or justifications for URL removal requests, on the left. On the right are the reasons that Google typically denies RTBF requests.
Google most frequently

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Google To Remove Right-To-Be-Forgotten Links Worldwide, For Searchers In European Countries

Google plans to censor European “Right To Be Forgotten” links on sites worldwide, for those those searching from the specific European countries where particular requests were made. This would make it much harder for those in Europe to switch to non-European versions of Google and still find these links.
The Situation Now: Removals Only From European Editions
Under Europe’s Right To Be Forgotten, Europeans can request that search engines like Google remove links that they consider to violate their privacy or that are deemed harmful in some way and no longer relevant to the public interest. Those requesting removal have to specify both the links they want dropped and the specific search terms they want the links removed from.
If granted, Google will:

Drop the links only for the specific search terms requested. They continue to appear for other search terms.
Drop the links only for its European sites.
Continue to show the links for all searches in Google editions for non-European countries.

To understand more, here’s an example. Let’s say

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Google Fights France To Prevent Globalization Of The Right-to-Be-Forgotten

Google has formally appealed France’s data protection authority’s order that Google apply Right-to-Be-Forgotten (RTBF) removals to its global index. The Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) had protested Google’s Europe-only removal policy and threatened to fine the company €150,000 ($169,000) for failing to apply the rule on a worldwide basis.
Previously Google said that it would limit RTBF to European users:
We’ve been working hard to strike the right balance in implementing the European Court’s ruling, co-operating closely with data protection authorities. The ruling focused on services directed to European users, and that’s the approach we are taking in complying with it.
The company simultaneously made it more difficult for Europeans to get to Google.com.
French and other European privacy regulators have taken the position that RTBF is undermined by the retention of content in the Google.com index. And the CNIL issued an order and ultimatum to Google accordingly.
Google is now appealing that order in French court. On different

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Russian Parliament Approves “Right To Be Forgotten” In Search Engines

The Russian parliament has approved a broad “Right To Be Forgotten” law that allows anyone to request removal of information from search engines that’s deemed outdated, irrelevant or untrustworthy. If signed by President Vladimir Putin, it will be become law next year.
The law has been criticized as being too sweeping compared the the EU’s Right To Be Forgotten, which itself has come under criticism. The Russian law doesn’t require that actual links be identified for removal, simply that people can object to content in general and ask search engines to somehow remove all of it. The law also only removes links in search engines, not from hosting websites.
Deutsche Welle explains that the law requires the removal of content deemed “untrustworthy” or that is “in violation of the law” or that is “no longer relevant.” A provision that potentially meant any information older than three years, even if accurate, was dropped. RT explains some situations, also. Reuters also has coverage, and Techmeme

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Google Will Allow People To Block “Revenge Porn” From Search Results

Google has announced that in the coming weeks, it will launch a system allowing people to request nude and explicit images of themselves posted without consent from appearing in Google’s search results.
This move will help with the “revenge porn” issue, where upset partners post images to degrade someone they were with. It’s an issue that’s especially likely to be done to women.
Google wrote of the new policy today in a blog post:
We’ve heard many troubling stories of “revenge porn”: an ex-partner seeking to publicly humiliate a person by posting private images of them, or hackers stealing and distributing images from victims’ accounts. Some images even end up on “sextortion” sites that force people to pay to have their images removed.
Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women. So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove

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EU Says Process For Reviewing Right To Be Forgotten Appeals Is Working

The EU organization charged with overseeing Europe’s Right To Be Forgotten appeals process – Article 29 Working Party (WP29) – says its review system for RTBF complaints is working just fine, and that the majority of RTBF requests denied by search engines are justified.
After creating a set of guidelines for reviewing RTBF appeals last December, WP29 – a group made up of data protection authorities from the EU’s member states – recently surveyed national regulators and has determined its process for reviewing appeals is operating efficiently.
“It follows from the answers received to the questionnaire that the system put in place by the WP29 has efficiently played its role.”
In a statement released by the WP29 covering its survey results, the group claimed, “It follows from the answers received to the questionnaire that the system put in place by the WP29 has efficiently played its role.”
It also said of the nearly 2,000 complaints it has received, the great majority

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Russia Poised To Pass Sweeping Right-To-Be-Forgotten Law

Lawmakers in Russia are just a couple votes away from passing a sweeping “right to be forgotten” law that critics say would be technically impossible to follow while also preventing citizens from accessing important information online.
The European Union already has its own right to be forgotten law that lets citizens submit links to specific web pages and ask that those pages be removed from search results related to the person’s name. The EU’s criteria gives search engines the right to evaluate whether the person making the request is a public figure or private citizen, and whether the information has general public interest.
But, as the New York Times explains, the proposed law in Russia goes a lot further:
At its core, the proposal is similar to one approved by a top European court last year that forced Google to start removing links from search results for individuals’ names, but has two major differences that push the Russian law

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