France Demands Google Extend "Right to be Forgotten" to Global Domains

The French data protection authority, led by Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, has threatened Google with various penalties including a fine of up to 300,000 Euros unless it extends the removal of search engine results to its global domains. A European court ruling last year decreed that any individual may petition a search engine to manually remove search results pertaining to themselves, under the guise of privacy. Proponents of the ruling have argued that people should not have to be associated with their past, or suffer unpleasant reminders of deeds they've commited or impressions they've made, apparently unconcerned about the fabrication of history to suit personal preferences such outlooks necessarily entail.

Google has undeniably made an effort to comply with the ruling, though whether it has sufficiently worked to allay the fears of indeterminable quantities of insecure people online is, naturally, debated. Currently, the company removes search results petitioned through an application process, though the results' absence from results applies only to the localized domain relevant to the applicant's stated home address. What Ms. Falque-Pierrotin and her ilk would prefer, however, is the removal from itself and all localized domains worldwide –ensuring that people who've established a negative reputation for themselves will be able to rest easy knowing that random Joes in Swaziland won't be able to read about their fuckups.

Such an extention would not only call into question the motives of those seeking removal of results for themselves, but of the motives of French "right to be forgotten" mongerers such as Ms. Falque-Pierrotin. Soon after the 2014 ruling that prompted Google to create an application form for the removal of links, the service began offering to assist European residents and "Americans living in Europe" find links to petition for removal and fill out the application form. The service has indicated that it will ultimately be a for-profit venture, though "during its start-up phase," the service is free. Notably, it is run by French agency Reputation VIP, a for-pay "online reputation management service."

As numerous nations grapple with the insanity of the supposed "human right" to being forgotten, reasonable access to information is at risk –and opportunities abound for companies and governments to leech off the irresponsible and vain.

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