French court refers ‘right to be forgotten’ dispute to European Union judges

European Union (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 contested 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.

“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.