Google has won its case that EU “right to be forgotten” laws apply only to searches within the EU and not searches done from other countries, like Japan or the U.S., reports the BBC. The European Court of Justice has sided with the search giant saying that Google is complying with EU law as long as it blocks information about an individual who has requested it within EU states.
The suit was brought against Google by France’s privacy regulator CNIL, which alleged that Google was not abiding by right-to-be-forgotten laws after it only blocked search results about an individual in Europe and not elsewhere. CNIL argued that if the information was still available to access from other countries, individuals living in Europe could simply use a VPN to see it.
In announcing its ruling, the ECJ said, “Currently, there is no obligation under EU law, for a search engine operator who grants a request for de-referencing made by a data subject . . . to carry out such a de-referencing on all the versions of its search engine.”
Google has applied the right to be forgotten rules in Europe since May 2014. The company says that since then it has received more than 845,000 requests to remove a total of 3.3 million web links. The company says about 45% of the links end up getting delisted.