EU’s Reding: Google deletes copyright URLs, it can “forget” others
Google manages to take down millions of copyright infringing links, so it should be able to manage requests to “be forgotten” by users too, according to one EU Commissioner.
The European Court of Justice last month ruled that Google must remove a link under the European “right to be forgotten” rule. Last week, the web company offered users a web form to ask for links to be removed.
Viviane Reding, the vice president of the European Commission, told BBC 5 Live that Google should be able to easily manage such requests, given it takes down millions of URLs for copyright infringement each month.
It is possible to handle the copyright question, so it should also be possible to handle the ‘takedown requests on personal data’ question
“There are relatively little requests for takedown,” she said, saying copyright was a “tougher” case. “And there are some million requests to take down material for copyright reasons, so you see this is a small thing as compared to copyright.”
“It is possible to handle the copyright question, so it should also be possible to handle the ‘takedown requests on personal data’ question,” she said.
In the first 24 hours after the EU ruling, Google told the FT that 12,000 people asked the web giant to remove links about them via an online form. Of those requests, 40% were from Germany and 13% from the UK. Since then, the number of people making requests has topped 41,000, according to the BBC.
Asked if the law means pedophiles will be able to hush up their past, Reding told interviewer that “it is not all okay,” pointing out that the ruling only affects data that is inaccurate, irrelevant or excessive.
“The right to be forgotten is certainly not about making… criminals less criminal,” she added. “Just read the law.”
“It is not about wiping history, or taking away what has been written in newspapers,” she said, saying the data stays in archives, but removes it from its “prominent” position in Google’s rankings. “There can not be an erasure of history, that must be very clear.”