Google fined by French data protection authority over ‘right to be forgotten’
On 10th March 2016, the French data protection authority (CNIL) issued the Decision no. 2016-054 in which it fined Google Inc. €100,000 for failing to properly implement the so-called “right to be forgotten”.
The decision is based on the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) in Costeja v. Google which stated that internet users residing in Europe could ask search engines to delist their personal data. Those whose request to delist Internet links on the “Google Search” engine had been turned down lodged a complaint with the CNIL and after a investigation, Google was asked to delist several results.
In some requests, Google carried out the delisting only on the search engine’s European geographic extensions and therefore, the delisted content in France remained accessible in other non-European countries. In May 2015, the CNIL issued a formal order to the company to extend delisting to all of the extensions since the Chair considered that delisting must be carried out on all of the extensions under the CJEU ruling.
Google stated that a global delisting would disproportionately undermine the freedom of expression and information.
The CNIL answered that the commitment of its decision is to guarantee effective and complete protection of data subjects and sanctions procedure against the company was initiated.
AEPD approves the update of Google privacy policies
It declared illegal its way of processing of personal data, identified three critical breaches on the data protection legislation and a very high penalty was imposed. The final report stated that Google needed to take necessary measures to bring its policy of privacy to Spanish legislation.
Furthermore, Google has committed itself to adopting a wide range of improvements such as; to increase the list of services with specific privacy policies, to extend privacy campaigns to other products or services (e.g. Android users), to conduct a continuous dialogue with AEPD regarding to the implementation of new measures and finally, to inform of future changes that could affect the citizens’ privacy.
Right to delisting: Google informal appeal rejected
On 21 September 2015, the President of the CNIL rejected Google’s informal appeal against a formal notice adopted by the CNIL on 12 June 2015 requesting it to apply delisting on all of the search engine’s domain names.
After the Court of Justice of the European Union of 13 May 2014 recognizing the right to delisting, the CNIL received hundreds of complaints against Google’s refusals and requested Google to implement the delisting irrespective of the extension used (.fr; .uk; .com …). Google had granted this right only on European extensions of the search engine but not on “google.com” or other non-European extensions.
The President of the CNIL put Google on notice to proceed, within a period of fifteen days to the requested delisting on the whole data processing and on all extensions of the search engine. This formal notice has no sanction but, if Google did not comply with it, the proceeding to impose a sanction would start. At the end of July, Google filed an informal appeal asking the President to withdraw this public formal notice arguing the public’s right to information and considering it a form of censorship. After the refusal of CNIL of this informal appeal, Google must comply with the formal notice or the sanction proceeding will start.