Google wins in ‘right to be forgotten’ fight with France

News:European Union’s(EU) top court has ruled that the right to be forgotten online does not extend beyond the borders of the European Union.



  • The ruling came on a dispute between Google and the French privacy regulator CNIL which in 2015 had asked Google to globally remove links to pages containing damaging or false information about a person.
  • However,the court has now ruled that the Google only needs to remove links from its search results in Europe and not elsewhere after receiving an appropriate request.

About Right to be forgotten:

  • The right to be forgotten has been in practice in Argentina and the European Union since 2006.
  • The rule allows for the lawful removal of personal information of an individual if such request is made.
  • The right is seen as significant in these jurisdictions as it can determine the development of their life in an autonomous way without being stigmatised as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past.

Right to be forgotten vs Right to privacy:

  • The right to be forgotten is distinct from the right to privacy because the right to privacy constitutes information that is not publicly known.
  • But the right to be forgotten involves removing information that was publicly known at a certain time and not allowing third parties to access the information.

Right to be forgotten in India:

  • India has no legal provision neither in the Information Technology (IT) Act 2000 (amended in 2008) or the IT Rules, 2011 related to Right to be forgotten.
  • However,the Karnataka High Court had recently upheld a woman’s ‘right to be forgotten’.
  • The judgment stated that this is in line with the trend in western countries of the ‘right to be forgotten’ in sensitive cases involving women in general and highly sensitive cases involving rape or affecting the modesty and reputation of the person concerned.
  • Further,the Delhi High Court in another case had asked whether the right to privacy included the right to delink from the Internet the irrelevant information from the Centre and Google.