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EU Pushing For A Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten EU Pushing For A Worldwide Right To Be Forgotten

The European Union seems to really have a problem with Google these days. First, they want to force the unbundling of the company's search services, and now they are trying to compel the company to apply the right-to-be-forgotten directive at a global level.

Promulgated earlier this year, the right-to-be-forgotten law allows people to petition search engines to remove specific links from their lists of results. Google was the first major company to comply with this demand, but since the law is only valid in the EU, the results will only disappear from the Google domains specific to the European Union (google.it, google.fr, etc), while others like google.com, google.in, etc. will still show the complete lists. Privacy regulators said that this rule should apply to all Google domains, so that there is no way to circumvent the protection being offered to European citizens.

Furthermore, the European authority also has a problem with the way Google is applying this law, because the IT giant notifies websites whenever a page is removed from the search results. According to the regulators, this should be made quietly without any form of warning. However none of these two directives are legally binding so, if it so desires, the Mountain View-based company can choose to ignore them.

From Google's side of the story, every EU citizen who accesses the company's search engine is automatically redirected to the Google domain specific to his or her country, where the right-to-be-forgotten law is applied. Even though this can be bypassed with the help of a proxy, I don't think that the European Union has the authority to dictate what people from outside its borders should be able to see online or not.

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