The French data protection authority, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), has said it has fined Alphabet subsidiary, Google, €100,000 for failing to scrub search results widely enough to comply with an EU privacy ruling.

google search

The US based tech firm has been in a long running dispute with several European Union data protection authorities for the last 2 years, ever since the European Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that EU citizens had a legitimate right to ask search engines, not just Google, but also the likes of Microsoft’s Bing to permanently remove incorrect information about themselves.

The ruling quickly became known as the ‘right to be forgotten’

The ‘right to be forgotten,’ has proved to be a administrative headache for Google, as the only way for them to actually comply with the ruling was to ‘delist’ search results that popped up under name searches

While Google did comply with the original 2014 ruling, it only scrubbed results across its European website search results, i.e. Google.de in Germany, Google.ie in Ireland, and Google.fr in France.

Google have argued that to go any further the consequences would have a negative effect on the free flow of information worldwide, not least to mention the fact that it is a time consuming and costly affair for Google. No, not at all…

CNIL said that all links under the “right to be forgotten” “must be carried out on all of the data processing and thus on all search engine’s domains…Contrary to what Google asserts, delisting on all domains doesn’t limit the freedom of expression in that it doesn’t involve any removal of Internet content.”

For its part, Google spokesman, Al Venrey was quoted as saying that the company had, and was working tirelessly to comply with the EU ruling, “thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe…. But as a matter of principle, we disagree with the CNIL’s assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France, and we plan to appeal their ruling.”