Google rejects France’s demand for a global ‘right to be forgotten’

31 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CEO Daily: Friday, July 31.

When French regulator CNIL told Google it must apply “right to be forgotten” requests globally last month, it gave the company 15 days to comply or face further action. Google came out with a firm answer to that question yesterday – “Mais, non!” – setting the stage for a showdown that has profound implications for the global Internet. The French data protection authority, the 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 In a blog post, Peter Fleischer, Global Privacy Counsel at Google, called CNIL’s order “disproportionate and unnecessary,” arguing that if it had obeyed its demand, France would essentially set the standard for internet regulation.

Fortune’s Jeff John Roberts has written a smart story on yesterday’s developments, but the gist is this: Last year, the European Court of Justice issued its “right to be forgotten” decision forcing Google to remove certain links from search results. Since then, the company has been flooded with a quarter million requests to do so, and has been struggling to develop a methodology to decide which ones to honor. However, it has limited removals to its European websites, such as in Germany or in France, arguing that over 95 per cent of searches made from Europe are done through local versions of Google. Then, French regulators said it’s not enough for Google to strip search results from European web pages (,, etc.); it must take them down worldwide.

However, European regulators and some legal experts think Google ought to apply the ruling globally as it is too easy to circumvent it by switching from one version of Google to another. And speaking of Europe, my former colleagues at the Pew Research Center recently published results from their Global Attitudes survey showing just how disunited the European Union has become. In a statement of objections they accused the Internet giant of abusing its dominance of the search-engine market and on the same day started a new investigation into Google’s Android mobile-phone software. We felt this statistic really says a lot about the state of global banking today: Over the past five years, U.S. banks have added a total of $254.6 billion in market capitalization, while the Europeans have gained just $9.5 billion. This explains why Europe’s top banks have recently been pulling back from a number of countries and businesses, while U.S. rivals seem poised to pounce on the opportunity.

WSJ (subscription required) The social-media website has developed a massive, solar-powered aircraft that will be responsible for beaming Internet signals back to rural areas on Earth that lack the kind of communications infrastructure needed to maintain Internet connectivity. Wired Some revised data has led to a disappointing discovery: the U.S. economy grew slower than previously estimated from 2012 to 2014, after a new government approach to gross domestic product addressed flows in how the report is produced. Over that time period, the U.S. expanded at an average 2% rate each year, instead of the 2.3% that was reported under the old method of calculating GDP. MarketWatch Huey-yuan Yang, who manages the equivalent of $169 million for a HSBC fund in Taiwan, is among the investors that say the recent sell off in China hasn’t changed their investment view. In fact, he says he sees a “buying-on-dip” opportunity amid “abnormal declines.” Bloomberg polled fund managers in the Greater China region and found many plan to stick with the Chinese market, despite massive volatility and worries about state intervention.

Bloomberg A rivalry with a local taxi-hailing company is driving Uber to invest $1 billion into its operations in the Asian country, with hopes to fend off a fairly strong competitor. The investment in India should help Uber reach 1 million daily rides in India, as the company hopes to expand beyond the 18 Indian cities where it currently operates. Fortune Diageo and other major spirits companies are quickly expanding across Africa, targeting even the poorest consumers with liquor made locally and sold at dirt-cheap prices. The market is emerging as the final frontier for many of these firms, as only 2% of the industry’s profits came from Africa and the Middle East as recently as 2013.

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