Sep 24, 2019

Google wins landmark "right to be forgotten" case in Europe

The Google logo on display in Berlin, Germany. Photo: Michele Tantussi/Getty Images

Google has won a major case in Europe over the EU's "right to be forgotten," meaning the search giant will not be forced to filter search results for Europeans outside of the region.

Why it matters: The decision is considered a major win for free-speech activists, who worried that if one region could dictate Google's results for others, everyone would start doing it — so, for example, China could potentially dictate search results for users in the U.S.

Details: The European Court of Justice, Europe's top court, ruled Tuesday that EU law requires Google to scrap outdated or irrelevant search results about a user upon request only in the EU, not all over the world.

  • The ruling follows a 2014 “right to be forgotten” ruling in Europe that grants European citizens the right to ask search engines to remove sensitive or outdated information from listings about their past.

Background: The case was brought to the highest court in Europe after a fierce battle in 2015 between Google and French data regulators.

  • At the time, the French data watchdog, CNIL, ordered Google to remove all search results for persons who wished to have their results scrubbed from global Google searches, not just searches in France or the EU.
  • Google appealed the decision on the grounds of censorship and the appeal was rejected, sending the debate to the top EU court.

Go deeper

The EU's top court confines the continent's "right to be forgotten"

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The uniquely European "right to be forgotten" will be limited to that continent, per a ruling by the European Union's top court on Tuesday.

Driving the news: Google has won a major case in Europe over the EU's "right to be forgotten," meaning the search giant will not be forced to filter search results for Europeans outside of the region.

Go deeperArrowSep 25, 2019

Google adds new privacy options

Image: Google

Google is bringing incognito mode to Google Maps and allowing users to auto-delete their YouTube history, its latest moves to expand its privacy options. Customers will also be able to ask the Google Assistant to delete various types of data.

Why it matters: The company has been under fire for the amount of data it collects and said at its spring I/O developer conference that it would offer users more privacy options.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Second-term Supreme Court cases to watch

Photo: Nurphoto/Getty Images

The Supreme Court, now with a solid conservative majority after Justice Brett Kavanaugh's appointment, is hearing cases that could have long-term ramifications on immigration, LGBTQ employment protections and access to abortion.

The big picture: The high court — with 5 conservatives and 4 liberals — kept a relatively low profile in its first term this year. But it could hand major wins to Republicans in 2020's second term, emboldened by Kavanaugh's appointment and sharpening their focus as a slew of hot-button disputes work their way up from lower courts.

Key cases to watchArrowUpdated Oct 18, 2019