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ECJ Ruling Leaves Door Open on Global Right to Be Forgotten

Global Data Review

24 Sep 2019
Reprinted with permission.

Morrison & Foerster partner and Global Privacy & Data Security Practice co-chair Alex van der Wolk spoke to Global Data Review about recent rulings by the European Court of Justice in response to two cases referred by France’s Council of State.

Alex discussed the ruling that said search engines must balance privacy rights with the public interest when considering requests to remove sensitive data from search results, noting that this new approach seems to be a compromise with an earlier ruling.

“[It is] saying that EU law applies outside of the bloc but that it can’t make a judgment on how that will interplay with local laws, and that it’s rather for local authorities to do so,” Alex said.

He also remarked on the court’s second ruling, which said that it was up to Google to decide whether to delist search results that contain sensitive data, noting that this places a “hefty” responsibility on Google. “The court is saying that Google has to do the balancing test on its own,” Alex said. “It’s saying to Google that if you are not in control of your search engine, who is?”

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