Google Reportedly to Further Enforce EU's Right to Be Forgotten Mandate
The company will block access to disputed results for searches on Google.com and non-EU domains as well.In what could be a sign that Google is finally feeling the pressure from European data regulators, the company has reportedly agreed to block access more broadly than it does now to search results that fall afoul of the European Union's "right to be forgotten" mandate. The mandate, which went into effect in 2014, basically gives EU residents the right to ask Google and other search engine companies to remove links to search results that contain incorrect, outdated or defamatory information about them. The mandate is the result of a lawsuit filed by an individual in Spain who wanted Google to remove search engine links to two articles that he claimed contained incorrect and defamatory information about him. Google's response to the requirement to date has been to remove links to search engine results that are visible to online users in Europe conducting searches via the company's European domains. The company has steadfastly refused to remove links to the same results for searches conducted via Google.com and via domains outside Europe. Google has maintained that it is sufficiently meeting the requirements of the mandate by blocking results on European domains and that doing more would impinge on the rights of others where no such restrictions exist.
However, in a report Thursday, the New York Times said that Google is on the verge of acceding to the demands for broader implementation of the right to be forgotten requirement. Google reportedly has informed EU data protection authorities that it will start blocking access to disputed links not just on its European search domains but also on Google.com and its non-European domains. In cases where Google determines a user requesting link removal has a legitimate reason for doing so, that link will not be visible in searches conducted in the 28-member EU via any of Google's domains.