Our right to privacy is slowly becoming a privilege, as everything is cast under speculation and relativized by contexts, hypothesis and business interests. Privacy should not be a question of debate, trials and tribulations, especially when it comes to the extremely exposed world of the internet. Official institutions have been trying to regulate some aspects when it comes to personal information displayed in search engines. This is how “the right to be forgotten” appeared, constraining Google to consider deleting some pieces of private info which could affect an individual, provided it’s no longer relevant, truthful or useful for anybody.
Privacy advocates praised the decision taken by the European Court of Justice, which then seemed to offer citizens some recourse to what had become a growing peril of modern life: the internet never forgets and the internet does a great job in revealing information that should only concern ourselves and our personal lives.
Google was the first entity targeted to make use of “the right to be forgotten” policy and receive requests from users who want their personal information, which consists of irrelevant or outdated details, taken off.
But ever since the regulation appeared, Google seems to have closed its eyes in front of transparency and continue working in its mysterious ways to further manipulate every piece of detail it receives from its users. Its selection criteria for “the right to be forgotten” requests are unknown and its attitude towards this new law is reluctant.
According to news updates, Google seems to be applying “the right to be forgotten” in Europe but at the same time it is openly defying a request from a French watchdog.
A while ago, the search engine giant has received a formal notice from France’s data regulator, which requested Google to delist links from all European versions of Google search, as well as from all global versions. If a removal request met the criteria in France, Google would have been obliged to remove it both from Google.fr and the rest of all versions of Google Search in any country of the world.
Google tries to bend the rule, by drawing attention to an aspect which can easily be relativized. According to its new position over the matter, EU law does support and enforce the right to be forgotten, but the law shouldn’t be applied globally. According to their comments, some content that is illegal in one country may be completely legal in another, and one area’s rules and regulations are not applicable all across the world.
But beyond its new position, privacy is not questionable and it does not depend either on European rules or worldwide regulations. It is a fundamental right that simply must be respected. The fact that Google tries to bring the law in its advantage and manipulate its meaning, sheds some light over the unholy methods they are following, in order to lay and keep their hands on a giant pool of information which could be sold for good money.
The latest intervention from French officials has made google show its sharp teeth and comment that the approach CNIL, the French regulator proposes cannot serve as a standard for ruling the internet. Furthermore, they say that one country should not be empowered with the authority to decide and control what content users in another country can find and access. Thus, Google declines the CNIL request and has asked the regulator to withdraw its formal notice.
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