Google tells French watchdog “va te faire foutre”

poodleA French privacy watchdog, the CNIL, has growled at the search outfit Google saying that Europe’s right to be forgotten needs to be part of the US website.

The move means that either Google starts censoring its US site or it will face French fines.

Google is refusing to down it, after all it is a good bet that after much shouting, arm waving, mention of US cooking, the French will surrender.

CNIL, in June ordered the search engine group to de-list on request search results appearing under a person’s name from all its websites, including Google.com.

The European Court of Justice insisted that European residents were permitted to ask search engines to delete results that turn up under a search for their name when they are out-of-date, irrelevant or inflammatory.

Google complied with the ruling and has since received more than a quarter of a million removal requests, according to its transparency report. It has accepted about 41 percent of them.

However, it has limited removals to its European websites, such as Google.de in Germany or Google.fr in France, arguing that over 95 percent of searches made from Europe are done through local versions of Google.

Google said no country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access. Well other than the US of course, it controls what it likes.

Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel said that Google had worked hard to fulfil the right to be forgotten ruling thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe, and we’ll continue to do so.

“But as a matter of principle, therefore, we respectfully disagree with the CNIL’s assertion of global authority on this issue and we have asked the CNIL to withdraw its formal notice.”

The CNIL said it would look into Google’s appeal and decide whether to surrender in two months.

“We have taken note of Google’s arguments which are mostly political. The CNIL, on the other hand, has relied on a strictly legal reasoning,” said a spokeswoman.