French court refers ‘right to be forgotten’ dispute to top EU court

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PARIS (Reuters) – EU judges will have to decide whether Google has to remove certain web search results globally to comply with a previous privacy ruling, after France’s supreme administrative court referred the issue to the top EU court on Wednesday.

Google has gone head-to-head with the French data protection authority over the territorial scope of the so-called “right to be forgotten” whereby the search engine removes inadequate or irrelevant information from web results appearing under searches for people’s names in response to a 2014 ruling from the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).

“With today’s decision, the Council of State believes that the scope of the right to be de-listed poses several serious difficulties of the interpretation of European Union law,” the French court said in a press release.

Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain and Julia Fioretti in Brussels; Editing by Alissa de Carbonnel