Google will try to soothe the objections made by the privacy regulators in Europe based on the landmark EU ruling.
To soothe those objections, the search engine giant will now start eliminating search results from its websites when they’re accessed from a European country. Since May 2014, Google has been in disagreement with various authorities in Europe that aim to protect data of its citizens. The European Court of Justice ruled that its people could ask Google, Bing, and other search engines to remove irrelevant information that would appear under searches for their name. This ruling has been known as “right to be forgotten.”
In September, the French data protection authority threatened the search engine giant to face fine if it won’t wipe away search results globally on all versions of its website. However, the US company said that it would only eliminate search results on European domains. If the search engine company would clean up all search results globally, it would have a negative effect on the free flow of information.
What will happen then?
If you live in France, for instance, and you ask Google to de-list a link that pops up after searching for your name, then the link will no longer be visible on Google, regardless of what version you’re using. But this will only be possible if you’re accessing it from France and other European countries.
Google will filter all search results based on the user’s IP address. So, if you try to access Google in Asia and search your name, you will still find those unrelated links that pop up under the searches for your name.
Since the ruling has been released, Google has already received more than 300,000 requests for removal. Out of those numbers, only 42 percent of them have been removed.
Reflect European Law
In a statement released by Google to Fortune:
“In addition to our existing practice of delisting on all European domains, we’ll soon also remove delisted search results from all Google domains for people searching from the country of the requester, reflecting evolving European law in this area”
The changes will be applied slowly. Some are saying that the changes will be visible in the middle of this month. Google hasn’t made any public comment yet about the specific details on how it will tweak its algorithm to comply with the European law. Specifically, it didn’t say about how to implement its delisting strategy as regards to geoblocking.
It’s not clear yet as to how the European authorities will accept the changes. Google may also take another gamble by fully delisting inquiries globally. But at this moment, Google is hoping that the geoblocking strategy will please the European regulators.
This move of European authorities is part of their way to protect the data of their citizens. More and more politicians in Europe are taking steps to bring stricter penalties for privacy infringements. These penalties and laws will surely bolster regional data protection regulation.
But Google might stick to its territorial scope. And the global delisting might be considered after a thorough analysis.