Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has said an attempt by France to give an online privacy ruling global force is opening up a “disastrous can of worms” and could spur global censorship.

Google appealed last month against an order from the French data protection authority to remove certain web search results globally.

A 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice allowed people to ask the likes of Google or Microsoft’s Bing to remove inadequate or irrelevant information from web results brought up by searching for their name.

The measure, known as the “right to be forgotten”, has pitted privacy campaigners against defenders of free speech.

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