Google starts removing links under “right to be forgotten”
Google said it has started to remove links from its search results following an EU ruling upholding the so-called “right to be forgotten”.
Last month, the EU upheld a rule allowing people to request to be “forgotten” by tech firms. In Google’s case, that means removing links to websites that are deemed out of date or no longer relevant.
In response, Google set up an online form to collect such requests after the ruling, and has received tens of thousands so far, so it may be some time before they’re all processed.
Each request has to be assessed individually and we’re working as quickly as possible to get through the queue
“This week we’re starting to take action on removal requests that we’ve received,” a Google spokesman told Reuters. “This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually and we’re working as quickly as possible to get through the queue.”
Google had originally planned to display a message at the bottom of any edited results, stating that links had been removed, and pointing to the Chilling Effects website for details on the missing information.
This is similar to what Google shows for links taken down for copyright reasons, but The Independent reports that the EU thought it drew too much attention to removed links, which was contrary to the spirit of the ruling.
Instead, Google is showing a general message at the bottom of certain results – it appears to be names. The message says: “Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe”. It links to a page detailing the EU ruling.
How to remove a link
It’s simple to ask for a link removal from Google – although it isn’t yet clear how tough it will be assessing requests.
To request a link be removed, fill out Google’s web form; you’ll need the URL, a reason why it should be removed, and a scan or photo of a piece of ID.