Google’s advisory committee recommends “right to be forgotten” never comes to America

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A Google committee has recommended that the “right to be forgotten” be restricted to Europe.

At issue is the claim that search results removed via the ruling should also be removed from search results around the world because — get this — Europeans can use global websites.

Google has often complained about the ruling, which went into effect in May 2014, because it believes removing items from its search results impedes the free flow of information.

So it set up this committee, which only has the ability to make recommendations and is not able to influence either Google’s policies or European governments.

Among the committee’s members are Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, who has criticized the “right to be forgotten” ruling since it was first revealed. As he writes in this new report:

“I completely oppose the legal situation in which a commercial company is forced to become the judge of our most fundamental rights of expression and privacy. The recommendations to Google contained in this report are deeply flawed due to the law itself being deeply flawed.”

Besides setting up this committee, Google has also taken the fight directly to regulators, attempting to get the press on its side by informing it of erroneously-removed links.

Yet nobody in Europe is backing down from the “right to be forgotten” ruling. Indeed, regulators have imposed even more guidelines and requirements on search companies affected by the rule:

The data protection authorities in Europe said on Thursday that they will soon require companies like Google, affected by the controversial “right to be forgotten” ruling, to develop “common case-handling criteria,” create a “common record of decisions,” and contribute to a “dashboard to help identify similar cases as well as new or more difficult cases.”

The right to be forgotten appears to be here to stay. Now all Google and the rule’s other detractors can do is hope to contain it — and that’s exactly what this report intends to do.

PandoDaily

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