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Google to extend “right to be forgotten”

Google has confirmed that search results delisted on “right to be forgotten” grounds will no longer appear on any of its domains when accessed from the European country where delisting has been granted.

In Google Spain v AEPD and Mario Costeja Gonzalez [2014] the European Court of Justice ruled that European residents may request the removal of search results that they feel link to outdated or irrelevant information about themselves. Google implemented the ruling by delisting search results on its EU domains in the country where delisting had been granted but not on its non-EU domains such as This meant that delisted links could still be accessed in the country of delisting. This led the French data protection authority to threaten Google with a fine if it did not remove all search results across all domains in the country where delisting had been granted.

Google will implement its new approach by identifying countries via the IP address of the individual conducting the Google search and delisting the search results accordingly. Google’s change of policy will be seen by many as harmful to the operation of the internet and as a restriction on the right to freedom of expression. Google has said it has received 386,038 “right to be forgotten” removal requests since the ruling, and has accepted approximately 42% of them.

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