Google's 'Right To Be Forgotten' Case Moves To Top EU Court

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Google's dispute with France over the so-called "right to be forgotten" has been referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) at the request of the country's highest administrative court made earlier today. The CJEU can theoretically refuse that request but isn't expected to, and is instead likely to have its General Court analyze the case and rule on whether the judicial system of the European Union can order Google to honor the aforementioned right outside of the Old Continent. Most industry watchers believe the case to be of crucial importance for Internet regulations in general as it's expected to set a strong tone over other disputes between online platforms and EU state members.

The prosecutors in France previously argued that the Internet has no physical borders which many companies use to avoid enforcing some basic human rights like personal privacy, which is why they have called for Google to be forced to honor the right that provides EU residents with the ability to request any Internet search company from removing a number of links from online searches for their full names. The main issue in this case is that Google is refusing to do so when searches originate from outside of the EU where such a right doesn't exist. The Mountain View, California-based tech giant previously dismissed those claims, arguing that yielding to France's demands would set a dangerous precedent in the context of international law and indirectly prompt autocrats around the world to try censoring the World Wide Web in an even more aggressive manner than they already do. The Alphabet-owned company also claimed that it's looking to promote the sovereign right of each individual country to find its own balance between privacy laws and internal legislation protecting the freedom of expression, stating that France is undermining these efforts.

Being an American company, Google's dispute with France is largely ideological in nature, with severe privacy laws in Europe standing in stark contrast to the comprehensive First Amendment in the United States that would prevent such regulation from existing. The differences between the two largely stem from history, with many countries on the Old Continent being adamant to outlaw Holocaust denial and related forms of hate speech related to their experiences throughout the 20th century.

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