EU court adviser says Google can limit ‘right to be forgotten’

EU court adviser says Google can limit ‘right to be forgotten’
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Google does not have to extend the "right to be forgotten" rule to its search engines outside of Europe, an adviser to the European Union's top court said Thursday.

Advocate General Maciej Szpunar wrote in an opinion that the "right to be forgotten" must be balanced against public's right to information, according to Reuters.

“The fundamental right to be forgotten must be balanced against other fundamental rights, such as the right to data protection and the right to privacy, as well as the legitimate public interest in accessing the information sought,” he said.

He added the European Court of Justice should "limit the scope of the de-referencing that search engine operators are required to carry out" and that it shouldn't extend to search engines outside of the European Union, The Associated Press reported.

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The "right to be forgotten" refers to the court's previous ruling that Europeans have the right to control what shows up when their name is searched on the internet. The ruling forced Google to delist results about embarrassing personal information.

But Google had requested that the decision not be extended to searches made outside of the EU. 

 

Google on Thursday applauded Szpunar's opinion. 

“We’ve worked hard to ensure that the right to be forgotten is effective for Europeans, including using geolocation to ensure 99 percent effectiveness,” said Peter Fleischer, Google’s senior privacy counsel, according to Reuters.

The European Court of Justice is not required to follow the opinion of the advocate general but often does, according to media reports.