Home >Industry >Infotech >Google starts removing search results in wake of EU privacy ruling
The right-to-be-forgotten ruling was a surprise for Google and other companies already facing greater scrutiny over privacy practices in the 28-nation EU. Photo: Bloomberg
The right-to-be-forgotten ruling was a surprise for Google and other companies already facing greater scrutiny over privacy practices in the 28-nation EU. Photo: Bloomberg

Google starts removing search results in wake of EU privacy ruling

Google started offering an online tool to allow people to ask for search results to be redacted after the EU privacy ruling

Brussels: Google Inc has started removing some search results in the European Union after an EU court told it last month to respond to requests by people seeking the right to be forgotten.

The world’s largest search provider has taken down a link to a Spanish newspaper notice that was the target of a court case by Mario Costeja Gonzalez — a calligrapher who sought to remove a link to information about his past. Below a search on his name, Google now shows a statement saying that some results may have been removed under data-protection law in Europe. The link to a page of La Vanguardia was available earlier this week.

Google is starting to take action on the removals requests that we’ve received, said Al Verney, a spokesman for the company in Brussels. Each request has to be assessed individually and we’re working as quickly as possible to get through the queue.

The company started offering an online tool to allow people to ask for search results to be redacted after the EU Court of Justice ruled on 13 May that citizens’ fundamental rights could be harmed by information on the Web and where there’s no public interest in publishing it. The right-to-be-forgotten ruling was a surprise for Google and other companies already facing greater scrutiny over privacy practices in the 28-nation EU.

Google is posting the same statement that results may have been redacted on most searches made by Europeans on a person’s name, the company said.

We’re showing this notice in Europe when a user searches for most names, not just pages that have been affected by a removal, it said it on its website.

While the company has said it’s received more than 50,000 requests to remove personal information from search results, it won’t specify how many it has got to date. BLOOMBERG

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