Today an European Union court decided that Google was not be forced to remove search links around the world. Originally this case was heard back in 2016 where in France, Google was fined 100,000 Euros for not removing search results globally. Google did not like what France was forcing them to do and appealed the decision to the highest level of court in France that later passed it on to the European Council of Justice.
The European Council of Justice Decision
What many in the EU want was that any person can request to have a link removed/scrubbed from the Internet if they did not like the what they saw on Google search about them. With this ruling from the European Council of Justice, EU citizens can request removal of a specific link that they find in Google’s search results, but Google only has to remove these links inside of the EU and not around the world.
One key aspect of this ruling that needs to be remembered is that only the link to the source of the information will be removed, but the actual information will not be removed from the Internet.
This was a big issue for Tech companies operating in the European Union as this would set a precedent for future cases with other tech companies that do business in Europe. The EU is attempting to control the power of the big tech companies the operate within their boundaries. In addition, there’s privacy concerns as well that many have been complaining about with the these big tech companies.
For example, the recent Facebook fiasco with Cambridge Analytica. Some believe that the European Council of Justice did the correct thing by limited the scrubbing of personal links from Google search only within in the European Union.
But one key thing that Internet users around the world should learn from the decision is that once something, may it be information, pictures, videos or any other sort of data; once it’s online it’s there forever. Even if the original source removes this info, it’ll be forever archived and next to impossible to scrub from the Internet. This why it’s important to take Internet privacy very seriously and limit sharing personal information as much as possible.