EU’s top court ruling for Google exposes varied gaps in guaranteeing data privacy

Following the recent news that the European court of Justice decided in favour of Google, in a long-standing debate about the limitations of the so-called ‘Right to be forgotten’;

Emma Mohr-McClune, Service Director at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view on the ruling:

“This ruling, and all of the preceding rulings on the right to forgotten, merely serve to expose the many and varied loopholes and unaddressed questions implicit in guaranteeing data privacy, to citizens of any state or alliance of states.

“With every new judgement, we get a further glimpse into the murky, unregulated and seemingly unfathomable complexity of this problem. Guaranteeing data privacy, and servicing a ‘Right to be Forgotten’ will be the stuff of courtroom drama for years to come.

“The origins of this case go back to 2015, when the French privacy regulator ordered Google to remove all links and data references to the individuals applying for the right to be forgotten from sites worldwide. Google responded with technology – innovating on a geo-blocking feature to prevent users from EU member states from accessing links to foreign sites to seek such information.

“The French regulator argued that Google’s innovation was insufficient, and took the case to the European court.

“During this latest hearing, Google successfully argued that such a worldwide limitation, if imposed, could be abused by authoritarian governments seeking to squash free thought, cover up human right abuses and censor government-directed criticism.

“There’s no question that in the geo-political context, this piece of regulation is a highly contentious, and hole-riddled guarantee, with much work still required. The ‘Right to be Forgotten’ is between a rock and a hard place.”

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