JewishGen Discussion Group #JewishGen (EU) Google Refuses to Comply With French Data Protection Agency Requiring Right to Be Forgotten to be Global #general

Jan Meisels Allen

Last month on this discussion list I posted about the French Data Protection
Agency, CNIL, ordering Google to globally "delist" links when requested to
do so by the subject of the link- even when the linked story is true. The
"delinking" according to the CNIL should remove links on all of the search
engines' sites, including those outside of the European Union (EU)-such as in the US or in Canada or in Australia .
They gave Google 15 days to comply or sanctions would be imposed. France is
the first country to open a potential sanctions process against Google if
its practices are not changed.

Google has refused to comply and is appealing the CNIL ruling. Google does
not agree with the CNIL's assertion of global authority. CNIL has two months
to decide on the appeal. The CNIL says they are looking legally at the issue
while Google is looking at it politically. Google warned applying the
"right to be forgotten" globally would trigger a "race to the bottom" and
the "Internet would only be as free as the world's least free place".
Google believes that "no one country should have the authority to control
what content someone in a second country can access".

To read more about Google's decision to not comply with their CNIL ruling

To read Google's blog post about this see:

Thank you to David Ockene, member of IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring
Committee for informing us about the Google decision.


The French ruling stems >from a 2014 EU Court of Justice ruling that European
Union residents could ask search engines such as Google to delete links to
articles that the person felt were out of date, inflammatory, excessive or
irrelevant. According to its transparency report, Google received more than
a quarter of a million removal requests. It has accepted about 41 percent of

This issue has been reported on previously and past postings on the topic of
"right to be forgotten" may be found in the archives of the IAJGS Records
Access Alert. To access the archives go to: access the archives- You must be
a registered subscriber to access the archives. To register go to: and follow
the instructions to enter your email address, full name and which
JGS/JHS/SIG/JewishGen is your affiliation You will receive an email
response that you have to reply to or the subscription will not be

Genealogists are very concerned about the potential loss of access to links
that might help them with researching their family history and the history
of their ancestral towns.

Jan Meisels Allen

Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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