EU: The AG Opinion on search engine de-referencing

February 18, 2019 | Publication

Google chose to appeal CNIL's decision to fine it 100,000, which was issued in response to Google contesting CNIL's order to de-reference relevant search results on a global scale, rather than within relevant EU jurisdictions.

Case C-131/12 Google Spain SL, Google Inc. v. Agencia Espanola de Proteccion de Datos (AEPD), Mario Costeja Gonzales, ('Google Spain')1 concerned the de-referencing of search results provided by search engines, and (given the global operations of entities such as Google) the territorial scope of the Data Protection Directive (Directive 95/46/EC) ('the Directive'). Despite the clarity the Court of Justice of the European Union ('CJEU') sought to bring to this issue in its ruling in Google Spain, varying interpretations led to future disputes over the same issues, as is the case in Google Inc. v. Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Liberts ('CNIL') (C-507/17) ('Google v. CNIL'). Google chose to appeal CNIL's decision to fine it 100,000, which was issued in response to Google contesting CNIL's order to de-reference relevant search results on a global scale, rather than within relevant EU jurisdictions. Questions regarding the territorial scope issues under dispute in Google v. CNIL were referred to the CJEU by the Conseil d'Etat, and on 10 January 2019, Advocate General Maciej Szpunar ('AG') issued an Opinion ('the Opinion')2 on the questions raised.

Paul Van den Bulck provides insight into the views expressed by the AG in terms of the territorial scope of the Directive in Google v. CNIL.

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