Google removes half of UE's requested links
GOOGLE has agreed to more than 50 per cent of requests to remove links from its search results under the European Union's recently-introduced 'right to be forgotten' legislation.
These latest figures were revealed as Google met with data protection regulators from across the European Union on Thursday to explain its handling of the ruling. The company has even been accused of deliberately mishandling the decision to stoke public anger.
Regulators have criticized the company's approach, which has resulted in greater publicity for the ruling while also making it easy for EU citizens to bypass its effects (by, say, switching from a local version of Google to Google.com).
"Google is a massive commercial organisation making millions and millions out of processing people's personal information. They're going to have to do some tidying up," said the UK's Information Commissioner Christopher Graham on Radio 5 live yesterday.
"All this talk about rewriting history and airbrushing embarrassing bits from your past - this is nonsense, that's not going to happen," he said, adding that Google should regard certain incidents as "spent convictions" - the name for criminal offences that can be ignored after a period of time in the interests of rehabilitation.
He added that despite the debate over censorship and freedom of speech that the decision has sparked, people should not be stopped from being allowed to move on from incidents in their past.
The US company has said that since the legislation was passed in late May it has received requests from some 91,000 individuals covering roughly 328,000 URLs, with the greatest number of requests coming from France, followed by Germany and then the UK.