Last May the European Court of Justice ruled that, because search engines are data controllers, they are subject to legislation for European data protection. This means that private individuals have the right to request search engines to de-list information that is inaccurate, outdated, or irrelevant in what they call the “right to be forgotten.” Now regulators are saying that it should apply to Google.com as well as the co.uk sub-domain.
With how easy it would be for someone to replace “.uk” with “m” in their address bar, it makes sense that they would wish to hinder such a work-around. While Google by far the most popular search engine in Europe, with a ninety percent marketshare, less than five percent of those customers use Google.com instead of the European sub-domain. The Article 29 Working Party issued a press release saying that limiting de-listings to only the co.uk isn’t sufficient under the law, and that Google must guarantee the protection of the data subject’s rights.
The wording on press release also suggests that those outside of the EU would technically be able to request de-listing under the law as “everyone a right to data protection.” Only time will tell whether or not this becomes an international issue.
(Source via Techcrunch.)