Google makes a final step towards EU acceptance by agreeing to hide content removed under the “right to be forgotten” rule in all the countries where this removal was established.
From now on it will be illegal for Google to display results which had been banned by the “right to be forgotten” regulation in the country of origin. This rule applies to all versions of the internet browser.
Until recently, the internet giant only removed results from the European versions of the search engine, like google.co.uk or google.fr., but ever since the French Data Protection Authority threatened to fine the company if it did not apply this law on all its websites, this norm has become global.
The filtering will be activated whenever there is a European IP address detected, which means that users residing outside EU countries will still be able to view the undesired results. Official reports suggest that this change will come into effect starting mid-February.
This decision has not come without opposition from the internet company. Google has tried to fight this regulation or at least to limit its reach to the European search sites only. Nevertheless, with the sudden change of heart, it seems as though Google is not very keen on paying huge fines for the right to keep whatever content they want.
It is also not a particularly good idea to have European Union regulators breathing down their necks at every step they make, which makes this decision wise on the long run.
The right to be forgotten is a concept that started being discussed and applied within the EU borders and Argentina back in 2006. It represents an option for the individuals to develop their lives autonomously, without having to deal with discriminatory or abusive content which appears on the internet.
From its early conception, this rule has been under a great deal of scrutiny, with many people claiming that it actually restricts freedom of expression and that it would be extremely difficult to determine to which cases this regulation actually applies to.
It’s important to mention that the right to be forgotten is different from the long existing right to privacy. In the case of privacy, the law refers to information that is not public knowledge, nor should it ever become, whereas the right to be forgotten deals with the information that was made public at a certain time and needs to be removed for ethical considerations.
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