For the first time after the ECJ’s decision of last May (“right to be forgotten” decision) a European court has condemned Google in a case concerning the “right to be forgotten”.
On September 16, 2014, the TGI (Tribunal de Grande Instance) — court of first instance of general jurisdiction in Paris — issued a decision regarding the removal of several links to defamatory articles. Last March the criminal court of Paris had condemned the authors of the articles. In May the two victims, finding that a search under their names could still retrieve those links, had demanded Google to remove the links within June 5, 2014.
In front of the TGI, Google contested first that the court had jurisdiction to decide the case against Google France, taking the position that Google Inc. was the proper party, if any. The argument was that Google France did not process data — it was only the French advertising company of Google. If the plaintiffs wanted the removal of the search results, they should have filled in the forms that made available by Google after the ECJ’s judgment.
The TGI did not agree with Google. First, the court held that Google France could also be sued here because like in the ECJ’s decision, Google Inc. and its local advertisement company are intertwined. Second, the court ordered Google to remove the links in questions, with EUR 1000 for every day of violation (plus payment of legal fees to plaintiffs).
The decision can still be be appealed.
More info (in French) here.