Google advisory board clashes with EU regulators by limiting right to be forgotten to Europe

Google’s Advisory Board has announced that it is against expanding the EU legislated ‘right to be forgotten’ rules internationally.

The board, which is made up of eight data experts, including Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, was set up in 2014 to help Google implement the so-called right to be forgotten ruling which allows European citizens to apply for information to be removed from search engines.

A 44-page Google board report released today (Friday 6 February) saw the majority of experts conclude that Google should not expand its censorship efforts beyond Europe.

The Financial Times reports that Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, a former German justice minister, was in the minority, arguing: “The internet is global, the protection of the user’s rights must also be global, any circumvention of these rights must be prevented.”

The report played down the need for international implementation of the ruling, stating that 95 per cent of European queries are directed through local search engines.

Jimmy Wales said in the report: “I completely oppose the legal situation in which a commercial company is forced to become the judge of our most fundamental rights of expression and privacy, without allowing any appropriate procedure for appeal by publishers whose works are being suppressed.

“The European Parliament needs to immediately amend the law to provide for appropriate judicial oversight, and with strengthened protections for freedom of expression."

He added that the law in its current form is “deeply flawed”.

The board’s opinion clashes with the EU regulator's ruling that right to be forgotten must apply internationally for Google to meet its requirements.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.