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Google complies with 'right to be forgotten' ruling with request form

updated 05:44 am EDT, Fri May 30, 2014

EU court ruling over privacy prompts form collecting removal requests

Google is complying with a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union over the "right to be forgotten." A form has been published on Google's support pages, collecting requests from individuals for Google to consider removing specific listings from its search services in Europe, though it does not state how long it will take for a URL to be hidden from view.

The form explains it is to protect users in cases where search results are "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed." Google will then assess individual requests and "attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public's right to know and distribute information." Items of public interest include "information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials," for example.

According to Search Engine Land, searches for removed content will result in a notification on the results page advising of its removal, similar to existing copyright removal notices. Requests will also only apply to European versions of Google, with the main search still showing the EU-barred results.

It is unclear when search results will start to be blocked under the ruling. Submitters of the form receive an e-mail back stating "We are currently building our system for removing links from our search results according to EU data protection law. In the meantime, your message is in our queue. Once we have our system up and running, we'll process your request as quickly as our workload permits."

Google reportedly started to receive requests to remove content within hours of the court's ruling, including requests from a politician seeking re-election, a doctor wanting to remove negative reviews from patients, and a convicted pedophile wanting to hide their conviction.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Junior Member

    Joined: 07-01-09

    Translation: "we COULD have been doing this all along, and the people who thought they were smart when they laughed at privacy advocates who were asking for this are suckers, just like the people who think that buying an Android device is somehow a blow for freedom when we stole as many of Apple's ideas as we could, and built them on top of other people's open-source work. We're so lucky — according to P. T. Barnum, there's a Google loyalist born every minute."

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    @ The Vicar

    Well written ... that was awesome. When you look at the grand picture and Google's behaviour since 2004, do you not see any parallels to Microsoft of the 1990's? To me, they're practically identical in strategy and tactics .... It's as if Google went ahead (just like everything else) and copied Microsoft's strategy book word for word .... it's lies after lies, theft after theft .... there is no end.

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