Removal of google searches worldwide
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Right to be forgotten. Does Google delist search results from Google searches worldwide or only from European Google searches?
In some cases, Google would remove, or delist, search results from searches worldwide, in other cases Google would delist on a country by country basis whilst in most cases, the removal offending search results by Google will only apply to the European Economic area or to a single country.
Following the Google Spain decision in 2014, Google started to remove offending links under a right to be forgotten from Google searches but only from the applicant’s own country. It meant that a successful right to be forgotten application made by a UK citizen would have resulted only in the removal of links to offending pages from Google.co.uk. This was highly unsatisfactory so we have made repeated complaints to the Information Commissioner's Office about Google's minimalistic approach to delisting offending search results from the Google search network.
Finally, early in 2015 Google undertook to have offending search results under a right to be forgotten removed from all European searches but still refused to the removal of google searches worldwide. Despite the above, Google had not fully kept its promise to remove searches from across Europe. It means you cannot assume that the European delisting will be done automatically and without reminding, chasing and in some cases threatening with legal action.
There is a right to have offending search results which fall under a right to be forgotten, removed from Google European searches. The word European in the context of a right to be forgotten means countries that are members of the European Economic Area and which include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. You will often need to check whether delisted offending search result under a right to be forgotten still show in any of the above-listed countries in relation to searches for your name.
Google operates a complex internet search network. Nearly every country in the world has its own Google search extension, such as Google.co.uk for the UK or Google.com.au for Australia. Google.com is the search extension used for USA internet searches. From each country, you can use each of Google search extensions so if an internet user in the EEU is using Google.com they would still able to view the links to the offending webpages from their own country. In June 2015 the French data protection regulator, nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL), issued Google with a formal enforcement notice, telling Google that it had to include all Google search engine extensions in the delisting process, with the effect that there has to be a removal of Google searches worldwide.
Google declined and told the French data protection regulator that any attempt to force Google to remove searches worldwide would represent disproportionate attack on freedom of expression and information. Instead, Google made changes to the search network so that the delisting of offending search results would be based on both, Google search extensions and IP addresses.
In other words, if you search from a device with a European IP address, offending search results will be hidden from you from all Google search extensions including Google.com but if your device has an IP address which is outside the EEA, then the offending search results will still show. The current Google official position is that there will not be a removal of Google searches worldwide under a right to be forgotten but only from within the EEU. Despite this, in some cases, Google would nevertheless, agree to the worldwide delisting but this is done in exceptional circumstances and certainly not as a matter of right.
There is a distinction between the removal delisting of posts from Google searches under a right to be forgotten, and delisting under defamation law. In case of defamation, Google is often more willing to remove searches from is entire network, provided you can show that there is a real need and legal justification for doing this. If, for example, you have obtained a court judgement that a post on the internet is defamatory, Google will then delist links to the defamatory post from search results in all the countries that you can show that you have reputation to protect.
This is particularly helpful to business people and other people who are in the public eye, partially to celebrities who have worldwide reputation. This method can be applied to removal of Goggle searches on a country by country basis, or worldwide. To facilitate the removal of Google searches worldwide, you will need to first obtain a court judgment for defamation or for breach of privacy, and then communicate it to Google legal team in California.