Europe’s “right to be forgotten” may affect search engines outside Europe

Google and other search engines may have to field requests from Europeans to de-list results from search engine outside of Europe, such as Google.com, Bloomberg reports.

In May, I wrote that Europe’s “Right to be Forgotten” court ruling was a terrible decision that could end Googling as we know it if it ever came to the U.S., which is unlikely. But it does seem the European data regulators are pushing for a wider interpretation of the ruling.

Under Europe’s “Right to be Forgotten,” Europeans can request the removal of search engine links to sites they argue violate their privacy.

Since the May court ruling, Google has received 174,226 requests to remove more than 600,000 URLs. It has removed 41 percent, according to Google. Facebook.com and Profileengine.com are among the top 10 sites Europeans frequently request that Google remove links from its search engine.

European data regulators also complained about Google’s practice of notifying media sites when it would no longer link to articles, thus resulting in more attention on the person who made the initial complaint.

Separately, U.S. congressional leaders wrote this week to members of the European Parliament over a nonbinding proposal to be decided this week to break apart Google, separating its search engine business from everything else, The Hill reported.

Photo: AFP/Getty Images archives

 

 

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