Google Inc is refusing to bow to an order from the French privacy watchdog to scrub search results worldwide when users invoke their “right to be forgotten” online, it said on Thursday, exposing itself to possible fines.

The French data protection authority, the CNIL, in June ordered the search engine group to de-list on request search results appearing under a person’s name from all its websites, including Google.com.

That stemmed from a ruling in May last year by the European Court of Justice that European residents can ask search engines, such as Google or Microsoft Corp’s Bing, to delete results that turn up under a search for their name when they are out of date, irrelevant or inflammatory, the so-called right to be forgotten.

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.

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