Conseil d’Etat requests preliminary ruling from CJEU on Right to be Forgotten

The right to be forgotten has been judicially recognized by the CJEU with the Google Spain judgment  (Case C-131/12). According to the judgement, Europeans have the right to disappear from search engine’s results under certain conditions.

The National Commission of Information Technologies and Liberties (CNIL), Commission nationale de l’informatique et des libertés, rejected some complaints aimed at removing the results of several name searches on the Google search engine and consequently some applicants lodged appeals before the French Council of State, the Conseil d’Etat, to quash those decisions.

However, the Conseil d’Etat found that the implementation of the right to be forgotten wasn’t always clear and found a number of difficulties concerning the scope of application of the Data Protection Directive  95/46/EC.

In particular, the Conseil d’Etat raised questions concerning the obligations that lie on the operator of a search engine, when the personal information whose deletion is sought is embedded in a press article or when the content that relates to it is false or incomplete.

In order to decide on these cases, the Conseil d’Etat suspended its judgment and referred to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling. See here.

To date, Google reports to have rejected more than half of the requests to delist URLs from its search engine within the EU on the grounds that they do not meet the criteria laid out by the CJEU. See here.


More on case C-131/12 is available at…

ECJ’s right to be forgotten decision: Europeans have the right to disappear from search engines’ results – C-131/12

The press release of the Conseil d’Etat is available at…


For more information about how privacy is implemented in Europe, contact Francesca Giannoni-Crystal & Federica Romanelli.


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