Report: Google has granted majority of ‘right to be forgotten’ requests

Google reportedly granted more than 50 percent of the requests to remove links to information about individuals under Europe’s new “right to be forgotten” ruling.

The Wall Street Journal said that Google has told European regulators this, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Since late May, more than 90,000 individuals have requested the removal of links covering about 300,000 URLs, the Journal reported. The roughly 50 percent removal rate is preliminary, the article said.

Still, the number of requests and the removal rate so far may indicate the European Union’s ruling granting the right will have more of an effect than some have anticipated. Other Internet firms, such as Microsoft, have been closely watching Google’s implementation, the article said.  Microsoft and Yahoo joined Google in a meeting in Brussels Thursday to discuss the ruling and its fall out.

In processing the requests, Google has apparently angered some European officials for notifying websites when removing a link, according to The Guardian:

The alerts over link removals have also caused news organisations to highlight the removals meaning that those seeking to be ‘forgotten’ end up back in the public eye.

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, in response to reports of Google’s removal rate, said that Google shouldn’t be responsible for “censoring history,” The Guardian reported in another article.

Christopher Graham, the UK information commissioner, dismissed some of the concerns:

All this talk about rewriting history and airbrushing embarrassing bits from your past – this is nonsense, that’s not going to happen. There will certainly be occasions when there ought to be less prominence given to things that are done and dusted, over and done with. The law would regard that as a spent conviction, but so far as Google is concerned there’s no such thing as a spent conviction.




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  • jnffarrell1

    Google’s lawyer did not say the self important commissioners were full of brown stinky stuff up to their eyeballs. He has more self restraint than I.