The Advocate General of Court of Justice of the European Union (TUE) Maciej Szpunar defended this Thursday that Internet search engines such as Google could limit the community block the so-called right to oblivion, thus giving the reason to the American firm against the French authorities.
The counsel's conclusions are not binding in view of the future ruling issued by the Luxembourg-based court, but European judges tend to follow the arguments of general counsel in most cases.
Szpunar has responded in this way to the Council of State of France, which elevated the TEU several questions related to a case in which the French National Commission for Information Technology and Liberties (CNIL) required Google to remove from the list of results of a search from the name of a natural person the links that led to a series of pages, as well as apply this deletion to all the domain name extensions of your search engine.
Google limited itself, however, to suppressing the links of the results shown in response to the searches carried out from the domain names corresponding to the extensions of its search engine in the EU Member States. In addition, the CNIL considered insufficient Google's proposal that was to eliminate the possibility of access from an IP located in the country of residence of the person affected to the results obtained, regardless of the search engine extension.
As a result, the French authorities imposed a fine of 100,000 euros on Google, a fine that the technology giant appealed to the French Council of State.
In its conclusions, Szpunar points out that search requests made from outside the territory of the EU "should not be affected by the dereferencing", so it is not favorable for this right to oblivion "are interpreted so broadly as to produce effects beyond the borders" of the EU bloc.
The Advocate General adds that the fundamental right to oblivion and the legitimate interest of the public in accessing the information it seeks. In this context, he argues that with a "deregistration on a world scale," the community authorities "would not be able to define and determine the right to receive information and even less to weigh it with other fundamental rights", such as data protection and private life.
Therefore, it proposes that the TUE declare that the search engine manager "is not obliged to proceed the dereferencing in all the domain names of your search engine so that the controversial links no longer appear, whatever the place from which the search was launched ".
However, it underlines that once the right to oblivion, search engines must take all necessary measures to ensure an "effective and complete" removal of disputed results in the EU territory from an IP located in one of the Member States, regardless of the domain name used by the Internet user