Earlier this year, the European Union Court of Justice ruled that people could ask Google to delete sensitive information from its internet search results. Now, it wants to extend the measure around the rest of the world.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the EU wants to broaden out the scheme — which mandates Google to take down links upon request, to satisfy users' right to be forgotten — from EU-specific domains, like ".fr" and ".co.uk", to ".com". Gulp.
You can see why the EU wants to do it. Right now, it's incredibly easy to sidestep the removals by simply searching for whoever you're looking for dirt on using google.com rather than, say, google.co.uk.
But given how badly the whole process has gone for those wishing to forgotten — in many cases, it reinforced whatever they were trying to hide rather making it melt away — it's unclear that it's a particularly great move. And that's before you even start to think about how on Earth the EU would enforce a ruling like this, which would apply to countries outside its jurisdiction.
The Journal's sources suggest that Google may be able to implement the ruling by serving search results based on IP address. But... really? It might be time for seniors of the EU to realise that hiding from the past on the internet is incredibly difficult, whatever legislation you throw at it. [Wall Street Journal]