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Friday, 25 July 2014 11:22

Google weaselling out of “right to be forgotten”

Written by Nick Farrell



Forget you only in EU

Search engine Google appears to be trying to weasel out of the “right to be forgotten” requirements in the EU. The search engine company has restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only, which means that if you have been defamed by an American troll in the 1990s anyone in the EU can still see it.

Regulators quizzed Google over its decision to remove search results only from its European search engines such as google.co.uk, which means that anyone can easily access the same information by switching to the widely used google.com. This might go against the European Union's top court in May which ruled that people have a right to request that years-old personal information that is no longer relevant be removed from Internet search results.

Google has so far approved more than half of roughly 90,000 incoming requests, sought additional information in about 15 percent of cases, and rejected around 30 percent of them. European data protection authorities met executives from Google, Yahoo and Microsoft to discuss the implementation of the landmark ruling.

The search engine operators were also asked to provide more information by the end of the month on their implementation of the ruling, the source said. The information will then feed into a set of guidelines to be drafted by regulators to help them deal with complaints from citizens over a search engine's refusal to remove a link. Privacy regulators can take Google to court if it refuses to meet their demands, as happened in Spain where the "right to be forgotten" ruling originated.

Nick Farrell

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