EU - You Have the Right to Be Forgotten by Google

Arno Froese

Google does not have to apply EU privacy laws globally, a court has ruled, in a landmark case that pitted privacy rights against freedom of speech.

Google will not have to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law globally, the continent’s top court ruled in a landmark case that has pitted personal privacy rights against freedom of speech.

The victory for the U.S. tech titan means that, while it must remove links to sensitive personal data from its internet search results in Europe when required, it does not have to scrap them from searches elsewhere in the world.

It has also been seen by policymakers and companies around the world as a test of whether the European Union can extend its laws beyond its own territory. The ruling, which applies to all search engines, is rare positive news for big tech companies under intense official scrutiny on both sides of the Atlantic over their dominant positions and gathering of vast amounts of data.

In its judgment, the Court of Justice of the European Union said the right to have personal data protected was not an absolute right.

The world’s predominant internet search engine has previously warned of the dangers of overreach by Europe. In a blog post two years ago, it said there should be a balance between sensitive personal data and the public interest and no country should be able to impose rules on citizens of another.

UK rights group Article 19, which campaigns for freedom of speech and information, applauded [the] decision, in which the judges also said Google had some leeway in deciding whether to scrap links because of the balance between privacy rights and public interest.

The case arose in 2016 after France’s privacy watchdog CNIL fined Google 100,000 euros ($109,790) for refusing to de-list sensitive information from search results globally upon request.

Google took its fight to the French Council of State which subsequently sought advice from the European Court of Justice., 24 September 2019

Arno's commentary

This victory for the US titan, Google, is a setback for Europe’s extremely strict privacy laws. Needless to say, this is not the final word, for technology continues to leapfrog; and in most cases, the lawmakers must catch up.

One thing we see clearly: that globalism will have the upper hand. Laws will be written and applied to all people on planet earth. What is the real reason behind it? Merchandising! Although there are some hiccups along the way (in this case, with the European Court of Justice), we are racing toward a fully integrated, global world.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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