Google will take more steps to comply with Europe’s right-to-be-forgotten rule by removing links from all of its search websites across the globe, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
Google, part of Alphabet Inc., is taking the steps to better embrace a landmark ruling in 2014 by the European Union’s top court, which granted the region’s citizens the right to ask Web-search engines to remove personal information about themselves. Implementation can be tricky, because of the different versions of search sites operating in different countries, leading to questions about how far Google must go to make sure that it doesn’t fun afoul of the right-to-be forgotten rule.
Previously, when a person from a European Union country searched for information, Google had only scrubbed relevant results from its EU sites that fall under the right-to-be-forgotten rule. That meant a person who wanted information removed from Google’s results would show up on searches done on Google’s websites outside of the region.
Now, results from requests originating inside the EU won’t show up on all of Google’s sites, said the person, who asked not be identified because the steps haven’t been announced yet. The rule won’t apply to searches from outside the EU.
Last year, Europe’s regulators pushed Google to expand the application of the rule to include websites outside of the EU. By doing so, the officials were seeking to make sure that the right-to-be-forgotten rule couldn’t be circumvented by people conducting searches on non-EU websites.
The expanded compliance would be on a country-by-country basis, so a person in France searching for content that had been removed based on a right-to-be-forgotten request made in France would not be able to see it. But a person in Germany searching for the same information would be able to see it if they searched on a non-EU Google site.