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The Google ‘right to be forgotten’ was codified in European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), some of the world’s most stringent rules on privacy. Photo: Reuters
The Google ‘right to be forgotten’ was codified in European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), some of the world’s most stringent rules on privacy. Photo: Reuters

Forget it, Google

The European Union court will today decide whether Google should extend the 'right to be forgotten' beyond the bloc

It promises to be a memorable case. To be here, but not to be there, that seems to be the question that the European Union Court of Justice will seek to answer on Thursday when it gives its ruling on whether Google, the world’s omnipresent search engine, should extend people’s “right to be forgotten" to searches that are emanating from outside the EU. This right was codified in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), some of the world’s most stringent rules on privacy.

In 2014, the EU court had ruled that Google will have to remove links to information about any person who requested for it. That, however, was restricted to searches within the EU, along with the non-EU country, where the person was based.

Now, however, the privacy warriors are working the courts to make the ruling global. Effectively, that would mean giving people with a past the right to disappear from cyberspace. For Google and other linked companies, this has wide business implications. For people, it may just be one way of getting back some control over their lives.

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