EU advocate general recommends ruling for Google in ‘right to be forgotten’ case

by Kim Boateng Posted on January 11th, 2019

Brussels: Maciej Szpunar, advocate general for the European Court of Justice, has issued a recommendation Thursday that the court rule for in the “right to be forgotten” case.

This case was initiated following a 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice which guaranteed EU citizens the “right to be forgotten.” Under the 2014 ruling, European citizens could request that Google remove personal information from search results of an individual’s name. The current suit was brought by the French privacy watchdog commission in 2016 after it was discovered that Google had delisted such results from the European domains of Google but not all domains globally. The case was referred to the European Court of Justice in 2017 after an appeal by Google following a refusal to implement the global restrictions or pay fines levied against the corporation.

Marciej Szpunar, an advocate general for the court, issued an opinion Thursday that the court should render judgement for Google. Szpunar feared that judgment for the French commission would allow other nations including and especially dictatorships to implement their own laws restricting access to information in the EU. Szpunar did not entirely side with Google, however, as he also argued that Google should make the “right to be forgotten” uniform within the EU where currently access to results may vary country to country.

The court is not obligated to follow the recommendation of an advocate general but typically does follow such recommendations. The European Court of Justice is expected to issue a formal ruling later this year.

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