Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report has filed an appeal against a March decision by a French regulator mandating a 2014 court decision ordering "the right to be forgotten" to be applied globally. Simply put, the ability to petition Internet search results to be scrubbed internationally, not just in Europe.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based web search giant said in a Thursday post on its Google Europe Blog it challenged the ruling in an op-ed column in the French daily evening newspaper Le Monde. In the op-ed, Google maintains that French authorities behind the decision, data regulator CNIL, violated the norms of international law.
"For hundreds of years, it has been an accepted rule of law that one country should not have the right to impose its rules on the citizens of other countries," the opinion piece, penned by the company's global general counsel, Kent Walker, read. Walker pointed to a Thai ban on insulting the country's king or a Brazilian statute prohibiting negative campaigning, all of which are legal in other sovereign nations, including the U.S.
According to Walker's op-ed, Google has complied with the Court of Justice of the European Union's 2014 ruling in every E.U. country, reviewing almost 1.5 million web pages and removing around 40%. In France, specifically, Google examined 300,000 in France and delisted almost 50%.
A Google representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
The tech behemoth on March 4 announced it was altering its right-to-be-forgotten policy so Internet users could not find the removed link in any Google search platform within the country of the individual seeking the data be taken down. Previously, it had just been removed from all European Google domains, such as google.de or google.fr.
After filing the appeal, Google can submit a substantive response, to which CNIL will respond. The process could spill over into 2017.
The origin of the right-to-be-forgotten policy stemmed from a dispute in Spain in 2010. A man filed suit in a Spanish court against a newspaper, the country's Data Protection Agency, Google and Google Spain, according to a fact sheet the European Commission released shortly after the May 13, 2014, ruling.
The man argued an auction notice for his repossessed home that appeared in Google search results violated his right to privacy. He sought the removal or alteration of the auction notice and that Google remove his personal data so the notice would not turn up in a search query.
The Spanish court referred the man's case to the CJEU, which subsequently ruled an individual can ask search engine operators to delist results that contain personal information long as it is inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive.