Google fights order by French regulator
Google pushed back Thursday against an order from the French privacy watchdog to scrub search results worldwide when users invoke their “right to be forgotten” online.
The French data protection authority, the CNIL, in June ordered Google to de-list on request search results appearing under a person’s name from all its Web sites.
That stemmed from a ruling last year by the European Court of Justice that European residents can ask Web search engines to delete search results about them that are out of date, irrelevant or inflammatory.
Google complied with the ruling and has since received more than a quarter of a million removal requests, according to its transparency report. It has accepted about 41 percent of them. However, it has limited removals to its European Web sites, arguing that more than 95 percent of searches made from Europe are done through local versions of Google.
In a blog post Thursday, the company said no single country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access.
“We’ve worked hard to implement the right to be forgotten ruling thoughtfully and comprehensively in Europe, and we’ll continue to do so,” wrote Peter Fleischer, Google’s global privacy counsel. “But as a matter of principle, therefore, we respectfully disagree with the CNIL’s assertion of global authority on this issue and we have asked the CNIL to withdraw its formal notice.”
The CNIL said it would look into Google’s appeal. In case of a rejection, Google may face fines.
2nd price slide brings cuts in jobs, spending
The stark reality of a much-feared second dip in crude prices is prompting global oil majors and nimble U.S. shale companies alike to ax spending again a year after the first price crash started.
Just days into the second-quarter earnings season, Royal Dutch Shell said Thursday that it will cut 6,500 jobs. Chevron said this week that it is eliminating 1,500 positions.
In North Dakota, Whiting Petroleum, the top producer in the No. 2 U.S. oil patch, cut its capital expenditure budget.
ConocoPhillips, the largest U.S. independent, trimmed its 2015 budget for the third time, by $500 million to $11 billion on Thursday.
More ominously, Linn Energy, a small exploration and production company, on Thursday suspended its quarterly distribution to investors to conserve precious cash, which has largely evaporated. Its shares fell 26 percent.
Crude prices have been on a roller coaster since mid-2014, when global oversupply started to chip away at levels higher than $100 a barrel. After hitting a bottom of $42 in March, U.S. crude rallied to around $60 in May.
But since June 23, when the latest rout started, oil has tumbled about 20 percent to around $49 a barrel. The second dip has dashed hopes raised in May that prices would hold steady at about $60 a barrel or inch toward $65, a level that many U.S. shale oil producers have said would allow them to add drilling rigs.
Also in Business
● U.S. home rental prices climbed much faster than incomes in June. Real estate data firm Zillow said U.S. rents rose a seasonally adjusted 4.3 percent in June from a year ago. The average hourly wage went up just 2 percent last month, according to the government. Meanwhile, mortgage giant Freddie Mac said the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage declined to 3.98 percent this week from 4.04 percent a week earlier. The rate on a 15-year, fixed mortgage eased to 3.17 percent from 3.21 percent.
● An International Monetary Fund official said the agency can approve loans for Greece only after Athens reaches an agreement with European governments that would ensure it can pay its debts. “The IMF can only support a program that is comprehensive,” the official said in a telephone briefing. Athens and Brussels this week started a new round of negotiations on a $93.8 billion bailout.
● The Senate passed legislation that will triple the maximum fines that automakers pay for violations of motor-vehicle safety laws. The new $105 million cap was part of a six-year surface transportation policy bill on which the Senate voted Thursday.
● Procter & Gamble’s sales fell for the sixth straight quarter as the world’s biggest consumer-goods company was weighed down by softer sales volume and unfavorable exchange rates. Total revenue fell 9 percent to $17.79 billion. That was below the $18.06 billion Wall Street expected.
● Mexico said it would quadruple daily dollar sales to $200 million in an effort to prop up the peso, helping to reverse a market slide that has left the currency at a record low. Since March, daily dollar sales had been $52 million. The peso is down 9.4 percent this year.
— From news services
● Earnings: Exxon Mobil.