Europe’s right to be forgotten is a nasty and arbitrary censorship power used to hide internet content such as past criminal history. Many think it tramples on the public’s right to know, as quite a few examples have born out.
It seems that France and the EU thinks that such content should be censored worldwide, and have fined Google 100,000 euro for allowing non EU internet viewers to see information censored in the EU.
Since EU laws don’t apply elsewhere, Google at first just deleted right to be forgotten requested results from its French domain. However, France pointed out that it would be easy to find the info on a different site and ordered the company to scrub results everywhere. In an attempted compromise, Google started omitting results worldwide as long as it determined, by geolocation, that the search was conducted from within France.
But now EU internet censors have rejected that idea (as it would be easy to get around with a VPN) and fined Google effectively for allowing Americans to see content censored in the EU. Google commented:
We disagree with the [regulator’s] assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France.
In its ruling, France’s CNIL censor says that geolocalizing search results does not give people effective, full protection of their right to be delisted … accordingly, the CNIL restricted committee pronounced a 100,000 euro fine against Google.
Google plans to appeal the ruling.