The controversial ‘right to be forgotten’ law passed in 2014 forces Google to comply with requests made by citizens of EU countries to have personal information removed from search results. Until now, Google has simply removed results from within the country itself, not worldwide. However, for French citizens, this gerrymandering of search results is coming to an end, as the government has now issued an ultimatum to Google:
If Google Inc does not comply with the formal notice within the fifteen days the President will be in position to nominate a Rapporteur to draft a report recommending to the CNIL Select Committee (the Committee in charge of imposing sanctions in case of violation of the French data protection law) to impose a sanction to the company.
Whether Google will comply remains to be seen, but the move has huge implications concerning privacy rights, what a publicly traded company can disseminate about private individuals without their consent, internet law, and international law.
For the SEO community, especially those who provide online reputation management services for intentional clients, this is good news, because it allows some form of legal control to the process of curating search results, which is much less difficult than trying to manipulate results via ORM.