It seems Google is poised to win an appeal of the 2015 decision of French privacy watchdog decision that data can be removed from Google’s EU index under the “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) couldn’t remain in the Google index.  Anywhere.

The Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), the French data-protection authority, demanded Google delist this information globally, saying that individuals could easily circumvent removal from Google.fr by going to Google.com.  Despite the logic behind that statement, CNIL was overreaching its authority to other countries beyond the boundaries of the EU, which was beyond the legal jurisdiction of the group.

The global delisting order was resisted by Google and appealed to the Court of Justice in the European Union (ECJ), which is one of highest courts in Europe.  During the meantime, CNIL fined Google roughly  €100,000 for non-compliance with its directive.

But on January 10, the top leagal advisor of the ECJ, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar, issued an opinion that agrees with Google.  The ECJ’s position was that Google shouldn’t be compelled to enforce RTBF beyond the EU.  The opinion recommends that the ECJ “should limit the scope of the de-referencing that search engine operators are required to carry out.”  In this case, the decision would extend to Bing as well.

Despite that fact that this is simply a preliminary opinion on the matter, the ECJ usually follows the recommendations of the Advocate General according to European legal experts.  A formal ECJ ruling is expected later this year.

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