Report: Google To Have ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Tool Up In 2 Weeks

By: Chris Crum - May 15, 2014

Earlier this week, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Google and other search engines must take requests from people for search results to be deleted. It’s up to the search engines to determine whether or not to comply with such requests. If Google, for example, feels there is a legitimate reason for a particular result to be removed, it can do so. If it doesn’t, it might have to go to court on a case-by-case basis when individuals are willing to fight it.

The Wall Street Journal is now reporting, citing Germany privacy officials, that Google will “create a mechanism for German users to request the removal of links to information about them from the company’s popular search engine within the next two weeks.”

In the past, Google has been very vocal about its opposition to removing legal content from search results. The company considers this a form of censorship. With this news, Google appears to be at least playing ball with the recent ruling, in giving users a new way to request that results are pulled. How often Google will actually comply remains to be seen.

As expected, more complaints are coming out quickly as a result of the ruling. The Journal reports that privacy regulators typically see about 100 requests to suppress search results each year, but had immediately received eight on the day after the ruling alone.

According to BBC News, Google has already received takedown requests from an ex-politician seeking re-election (regarding “behaviour in office”), a man convicted of possessing child abuse images (regarding pages about his conviction), and a doctor (regarding negative reviews from patients).

You can already see where the ruling could be a pretty big problem. On one hand, if Google were to delete such things, it could have a dangerous outcome because of the lack of information. On the other hand, it’s going to cost money for Google to battle such individuals in court, and there will clearly be a lot more of them than ever before thanks to the ruling.

Image via Google

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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  • Runaway-Train

    WELL, now the FCC made it official. Net Neutrality is dead. The death of the internet has been confirmed and Chris hasn’t written a dam article about it. It’s time to take to the streets and oust the dam liberals, democrats and communists which are all the same thing these days. Piggyback on and support American Spring tomorrow. Hell might break loose tomorrow, in case you don’t know. Search for American Spring. The Bundy militia is going to Washington D.C

  • wertwert

    It may have taken a court order, but Google is finally doing something “not evil”

  • annaarron

    “As opposed to regulating it on premises that suit them?
    If Google ( or any other search engine, it applies to all) was a truly unbiased system I think the argument that that are just searching what is there and giving results would be more valid but the fact that they already manipulate results to suit themselves makes it a lot less so.
    Truth is beauty but life is rarely beautiful or true see here http://goo.gl/JGTh9o

  • bob teal

    With Google links and everything else is now less important the only thing that matters is how much you pay them for ppc. Organic search is dead and Google will only profit now and everyone buying from the web will pay more. Case closed. Deal is done. Consumers lose.

  • http://www.gmrwebsitemaintenance.com/ GMR Website Maintenance

    The top European
    Court has ruled that citizens have a “right to be forgotten” and
    can ask to delete, can ask Google and other online entities to edit or erase
    online search results if those results contain any privacy or any
    unwanted.That might infringe the privacy of the person in question.

  • http://www.gmrwebsitemaintenance.com/ GMR Website Maintenance

    This is only the beginning. The ECJ hopes to extend the ruling in the future to include the “right to be forgotten” on social networks as well. The court made it clear, however, that only the search listing and not the original post would be deleted. In that vein, it would be more akin to marching into the library and removing the bar code off of a particular book.