NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Google Begins to Carry Out "Right to be Forgotten" Ruling

July 11, 2014

Complying with a ruling from the European Court of Justice (ECJ), Google has started removing results from its search engine, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The ECJ ruling required internet companies to remove certain personal information from search results. Individuals can request removal of information concerning themselves that is no longer relevant today. Deemed the "right to be forgotten," Google is attempting to balance these privacy requests versus the public's right to information.

As of mid-May, Google had already received 41,000 removal requests. One of the first pieces of information to be removed from European web results was a reference to a debt previously owed by Mario Costeja Gonzalez but which had long ago been resolved. Gonzalez's complaint is one of the complaints that led to the ECJ decision.

Every request is being assessed individually, so the process is taking some time. Notably, Google is only removing these results from its European searches, not from American search results.

Yahoo has said that it will also begin removing links from its search results, and Microsoft is similarly in the process of developing a way for Europeans to request the deletion of items from Bing searches.

Similar privacy cases are expected across the globe.

Source: Sam Schechner, "Google Starts Removing Search Results Under Europe's 'Right to be Forgotten'," Wall Street Journal, June 26, 2014.


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