The EU wants the ‘right to be forgotten’ enforced globally

The EU’s ruling to allow people the ‘right to be forgotten’ in the context of search engine results has been controversial. Google is against it, news outlets are against it, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales is against it, and so it Web creator Tim Berners-Lee. The EU is sticking to its guns, however, and has now suggested that the ruling should be enforced worldwide — not just in EU territories.

At the moment search engines, or more specifically Google, are playing nice with the EU and removing search results that are deemed ‘irrelevant’ if a person involved specifically asks. The only thing is that the removal only  really applies to European domains, like,, or still remains uncensored because users get automatically directed to the local versions.

The EU isn’t too happy about this, and new privacy guidelines are demanding that the altered results be enforced worldwide because people can easily switch onto a non-local version of a search engine. To make matter worse, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the head of France’s privacy watchdog, has criticised Google for informing news outlets when their content has been scrubbed from results. She claims that it’s unnecessary and brings unfair spotlight on people who want to stay hidden.

I’d just like to know how the EU going to try and enforce this on a global scale. When the right to be forgotten was first implemented US courts ruled that search results would not be altered in the United States, and the EU has no power to have that ruling overturned. It has power over EU territories, where search engines are begrudgingly complying, but that’s about it.

Don’t fight a battle you can’t win people, it won’t end well for anyone.

Tom Pritchard