Right to be forgotten: 50 million SEK fine against Google in Sweden – appeal rejected

After more than two years of proceedings, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court has refused to allow an appeal in a case between Google and the Swedish Data Protection Authority (IMY).
This means that the Court of Appeal’s ruling is now final and Google must pay a fine of 50 million Swedish krona (SEK).
In March 2020, the Swedish data protection supervisory authority IMY issued a fine notice against Google for a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation in relation to the way the company handles the right to remove individual search results from Google Search in order to protect privacy.
Google had challenged the decision.
In its judgment of 30th November 2021 (Case 2232-21), the Administrative Court of Gothenburg agreed with IMY’s assessment that Google’s practice of informing webmasters when a search hit has been removed from the list of search results in accordance with the “right to be forgotten” is not in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation. The court therefore upheld the fine of SEK 50 million and the IMY decision in this regard.
Both Google and IMY appealed the court’s decision. IMY pointed to the legal question of how detailed an individual must be in their request for deletion to a search engine.
On 20 December 2022, the Swedish Supreme Administrative Court now decided not to allow an appeal in this case. The decision has thus become final. Google must comply with IMY’s injunction and pay a fine of SEK 50 million.