Google is expanding its link removals for European "right to be forgotten" requests to cover all its global search engine pages. Up until now, the company would only hide contested links on its European search engine homepages. Now, the links will be hidden across all its search engines, but only if the searcher is in Europe, the Financial Times reports.
So, for instance, if someone in France had previously requested that a link be hidden from search results, Google would just remove it from its European homepages, including google.fr. But a savvy searcher could have just used google.com to dig up all those hidden results. Now, however, the company will scrub its US homepage results, too, but only for European users. The company didn’t provide specifics on how it’ll detect that a user is in Europe, but it’s likely going off IP addresses, so in theory, someone could use a VPN to subvert those results.
google will scrub its US homepage results of all links removed under the ruling
Although Google’s new move is a step up in the eyes of European privacy regulators, they still would like removed links to never show up again, regardless of where a searcher is located. France’s data protection authority, CNIL, is looking into Google’s new proposal, which will be rolled out over the coming months, and it could come back with more stringent requests.