Google rejected CNIL's request to expand the EU ruling globally, but critics fear what will happen if Google loses this battle.
|Google rejected CNIL|
Late last month, Google said that it "respectfully disagree[s] with the CNIL's assertion of global authority" on the EU ruling and asked the French watchdog to withdraw its order. Under CNIL's plan, all of Google's sites worldwide would be forced to follow the "right to be forgotten" ruling. In response, Google said that this plan is "a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web" and emphasized that the right to be forgotten is not the law globally. If it were, Google said, "the Internet would only be as free as the world's least free place." By not complying with CNIL's order, Google could face fines up to €150,000.
While Google has already risked being fined for disobedience, free speech advocates are wary about the ruling's expansion. One such advocate, Emma Llansó - a free expression scholar at the Center for Democracy and Technology think tank - said, "When we're talking about a broadly scoped right to be forgotten that's about altering the historical record or making information that was lawfully public no longer accessible to people, I don't see a way to square that with a fundamental right to access to information." Harvard law professor Jonathan L. Zittrain echoed this response, saying, "France is asking for Google to do something here in the U.S. that if the U.S. government asked for, it would be against the First Amendment. That is extremely worrisome to me." CNIL is expected to respond to Google's request within the required two-month period.