Google and other search engines should remove links to out-of-date or unwelcome personal information from all of their search results around the world – not just in specific European countries – when people in Europe ask for them to be taken down and there’s no good reason not to, EU data protection officials have decided.
When it comes to dealing with European privacy law, there are no easy answers for Google nor its advisers — but the outcome of this complex debate will have implications for many people.
Google’s new European transparency report gives everyone a much clearer picture of how the company is handling requests for privacy-based de-linking — and how complex the whole situation is.
Europe’s data protection authorities (DPAs) have agreed on a common set of tools to help them deal with those seeking the right to be de-linked from search engines. The tools include a dashboard that will help regulators judge whether cases that come before them are similar to prior ones, or if they are new and require fresh thinking. This is a great step – it should ensure consistency and, because it will make the DPAs’ handling of such requests more efficient, it should also make it easier for Google and others to err on the side of rejecting requests and pass off the casework to the DPAs, as should be happening anyway.