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Google gives ringing endorsement to US VPN providers with 'right to be forgotten' expansion

Chocolate Factory rolls out geolocation filter on search results

If you use Google in Europe, your search results will be censored under the Continent's right-to-be-forgotten policy – even if you try to use one of the ad giant's non-European sites.

Until now if you used Google.com rather than, say, Google.de, you could still find results that have been removed at someone's request: the links would be censored on google.de but available on google.com From next week, though, if you connect to Google.com from an IP address with a European geolocation, you'll get the censored result.

Under the right-to-be-forgotten policy, people can ask for results to pulled from the search engine on all queries made in the EU. Previously, the filters had only been applied to the local Google domains for each EU country.

Users would now need to find other means, such as an overseas VPN to get around the filtered search results.

Since the European Court of Justice ruled in 2014 that citizens had the right to order their names be expunged from embarrassing Google search results, the Chocolate Factory has been working with the EU courts to honor the requests.

"We're changing our approach as a result of specific discussions that we've had with EU data protection regulators in recent months," wrote Google global privacy council Peter Fleischer.

"We believe that this additional layer of delisting enables us to provide the enhanced protections that European regulators ask us for, while also upholding the rights of people in other countries to access lawfully published information."

Fleischer acknowledged that Google has had "occasional disagreements" with the EU in how to enforce the directive, but said the Chocolate Factory will continue to comply with requests to pull information in Europe, even if many of those requests would still leave the results readily available for viewing on other search engines and anyone who would run a search query outside of the EU. ®

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