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‘Right to be forgotten’ prompts more French privacy concerns

Fewer than 100 incidents actually reported to Google, however

By Jennifer Baker, 17 Apr 2015

French data protection authority CNIL received 260 complaints last year related to the so-called 'right to be forgotten' ruling.

Presenting its annual report on Thursday, the organisation revealed that it had received nearly 135,000 calls from the public in 2014, a rise of 7 per cent on the previous year.

The 11,000-odd specific requests the Commission Nationale de L'informatique et des Libertés (National Commission on Informatics and Liberty) received were fairly evenly split between complaints about lack of data protection and requests for access to information held by public authorities.

However, treatment of data by search engines took centre stage. Google was ordered to remove links to “outdated or irrelevant” information about individuals by the European Court of Justice in May 2014 creating what many perceive as a right to be forgotten.

More correctly, it is a right to have a personal name de-linked from certain results in search.

After reviewing the complaints, CNIL referred around 90 cases to Google. Of those, about twenty have been dealt with.

The CNIL is an independent French administrative body with a mission to ensure data privacy laws are applied to the collection, storage, and use of personal data.

According to CNIL, the French public is becoming more and more concerned about privacy — almost 70 per cent of French people have heard of CNIL, up from only half in 2012. ®

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