LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Google (GOOGL.O) does not have to apply Europe’s “right to be forgotten” law globally, the continent’s top court ruled on Tuesday in a landmark case that pitted privacy rights against freedom of speech.
The victory for the U.S. tech titan means that, while it must remove links to sensitive personal data from its internet search results in Europe when required, it does not have to scrap them from searches elsewhere in the world.
The case has been viewed as a landmark test, in an age of an internet that knows no borders, of whether people can demand a blanket removal of information about themselves from searches without stifling free speech and legitimate public interest.
It has also been seen by policymakers and companies around the world as a test of whether the European Union can extend its laws beyond its own borders.
“Currently, there is no obligation under EU law, for a search engine operator who grants a request for de-referencing made by a data subject … to carry out such a de-referencing on all the versions of its search engine,” the Court of Justice of the European Union said in its ruling…