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World

AFP
September 12, 2018

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Google fights French ‘right to be forgotten’ in EU court

BRUSSELS: Google clashed with France in a top EU court on Tuesday arguing it feared for freedom of speech if forced to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” principle worldwide.

“The court is hearing a wide range of testimonies today, which is highly unusual for a case like this,” said a legal source at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, on condition of anonymity. The two sides are battling over a shock 2014 decision at the same court, that imposed a right for individuals, under certain conditions, to have references to them scrubbed from search engine results.

The US tech giant firmly opposed the decision, but complied with the ruling by delisting search references once requested across its European domains, such as Google.fr or Google.de — but not Google.com or domains outside the European Union. France’s data regulator, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), opposed the distinction and said the firm should apply the delisting to all extensions, regardless of the national domain name.

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