Google starts removing 'right to be forgotten' search results

European Google users may now see a warning when they search for a name

Google has begun removing search results in compliance with a European court ruling that search engine providers must respond to requests to delete links to outdated information about a person.

As of Thursday, when a user searches for a name via one of Google's European domains they may see a warning displayed at the bottom of the results page saying, "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe."

The notice is shown for most name searches and not just on pages that have been affected by a removal, Google said in a FAQ.

Google said it's working as quickly as possible to get through the queue of requests, which as of about a month ago numbered 41,000. A Google spokesman would not provide the total number of removal requests received to date.

The warning does not appear on the Google.com domain. The so-called European right to be forgotten will not apply to the Google.com domain because the .com domain is not targeted at the EU in general.

Google is responding to a May ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The court found that search engines like Google could be compelled upon request to remove results for queries that include a person's name, if the results shown are inadequate, no longer relevant, or excessive.

Since this ruling was published Google has been working around the clock to comply, it said. "This is a complicated process because we need to assess each individual request and balance the rights of the individual to control his or her personal data with the public's right to know and distribute information," it said.

Individuals make removal requests by filling out an online form which will be reviewed by Google to determine whether the results include outdated information about a person's private life.

Google will also look at whether there's a public interest in the information remaining in its search results -- for example, if it relates to financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions or someone's public conduct as a government official, Google said.

"These are difficult judgements and as a private organization, we may not be in a good position to decide on your case," Google said, adding that assessing a case might take a while "because we have already received many such requests." It said that individuals who disagree with its decisions can contact their local data protection authority.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags privacyGooglelegal

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Bitdefender 2019

Taking cybersecurity to the highest level and order now for a special discount on the world’s most awarded and trusted cybersecurity. Be aware without a care!

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?