UPDATE: Google has made the online form publicly available. In the form, Google tells applicants that it will assess each individual request as it seeks to balance privacy rights with the public’s right to know.
When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.
We understand from a source that successfully-removed links will only be dropped from search results displayed on EU-specific versions of Google, but can still be seen on Google.com.
Our original story is as follows.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled earlier this month that individuals should have the right to remove outdated information about themselves from search engine results.
The so-called ‘right to be forgotten’, proposed by the European Union in 2012, means that an individual should be allowed to request that outdated or irrelevant information is removed from a company’s servers and therefore removed from being publicly accessible on the Web. The original case was brought about by a Spanish man, Mario Costeja Gonzalez, whose name returned 16-year-old articles about financial difficulties he encountered when selling properties, and he wanted the information removed from the Web.
In an interview with Google co-founder Larry Page, the Financial Times reports that Google will introduce a mechanism on Friday (May 30) that lets European internet users ask it to remove links which they think are outdated and damaging.
A separate FT story detailed this will come in the form of an online form, an easy way through which users can submit their requests. Google is also said to be planning to announce a committee consisting of third-party experts who will help hold hearings in Europe and provide advice on how to deal with the company’s new duties regarding such privacy issues.
According to the FT, Page says that given how Google already has mechanisms for removing results related to child pornography and copyright infringement, such takedown requests over privacy will be “nothing new.” However, he said that public figures seeking to have embarrassing personal information removed will very likely be disappointed — as Google can reject it if the information is determined to be in the “public interest.”
Already, Google has received plenty of fresh takedown requests after the court ruling.
Image Credit: GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images
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