Google Has So Far Approved 40% Of The Right To Be Forgotten Requests
It has been a year now since the European Court of Justice ruled that Google had to respect individuals’ Right to be Forgotten. A ruling that arm twisted the biggest search engine in the world to pull down ‘irrelevant’ and stale information about an individual or organization at their request. The court categorically stated that any and all information of Google’s search results about any party that goes against the EU Privacy directive can be erased from the search engine results upon the party’s request.
Google has confirmed in a newly published transparency report that it has already scrubbed over 300,000 links from its search results. Google went further to say that about 59% of the applications were rejected. According to the Company, the decision on whether or not to remove links is made by its removal team, which reaches a decision after considering multiple of factors. One of which include whether or not there is a public interest in the information linked by the search engine; such as financial scams, criminal convictions, and professional malpractice.
Once a request for Right to be Forgotten has been made. Google’s removal team will review the web pages in question and based on the limited context given to them by the person requesting they will then render their decision.
Of the top ten websites that Google has had to remove its links upon request. Three are social network sites where an individual can post anything about anyone, including information that could tarnish an individual or organization’s image. The most links to be removed by Google was from Facebook, followed by Google Plus coming in at sixth place and Twitter at ninth place. Other sites in the top ten list include Profile Engine – a person’s profile finder, YouTube and Google Groups – Google’s discussion site.
The Right to be Forgotten request is open to anyone covered by the European data protection laws. In the event Google rejects your request, you can make an appeal to a local European Commission data protection authority, which must be consulted whenever the search engine rejects a request. The agency will then review Google’s decision.
If however, Google grants your request and deletes the links, the search engine will notify the ‘webmaster’ of the site with the information. This falls under the search engine policies, where the company pledges to inform the webmaster whenever links to their sites are removed from search engine result pages. Google will however not tell the webmaster or site operators the name of the person behind the request.