EU wants Google's 'right to be forgotten' to work for global searches too

Google laptop
Should privacy or freedom of information prevail?

Earlier this year the EU made a ruling that Google must give its citizens the 'right to be forgotten', by removing search results for things that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which [it was] processed" if requested to by the affected individual.

Google begrudgingly complied, but now the EU wants it to go further. Currently search results are only removed when searching from localised versions of Google, such as or, but according to The Wall Street Journal, EU privacy regulators now want it to apply to as well.

This is somewhat understandable, as while fewer than 5% of European searches are made through due to the search engine defaulting to a local version of its site, it's still easy to switch to the international one if desired.

Knowing vs forgetting

This is a change which Google will surely fight, as it essentially makes its search engine less useful, with executive chairman Eric Schmidt commenting on the original ruling that "You have a collision between a 'right to be forgotten' and a right to know."

"From Google's perspective, that's a balance. Google believes, looking at the decision, which is binding, that the balance struck was wrong."

Whether Google will once again be forced to comply remains to be seen, but you can bet the search giant already has an army of lawyers on standby.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.