Google asked to remove a quarter of a million links through "right to be forgotten" ruling

By Sooraj Shah
04 Jul 2014 View Comments

Google has been asked to remove over 250,000 links to articles through the recent "right to be forgotten" ruling made by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The internet giant said it had received 70,000 requests since it released a web form through which EU citizens could request that links to articles about them be removed from search results.

Further reading

The EU ruling states that citizens are entitled to ask Google (and other search engines such as Yahoo and Bing) to remove links that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed".

The judgement, which has been criticised for not addressing the conflict between one person's ‘right to know' with another's right to be forgotten, has led to Google receiving about 1,000 requests per day. Each request asks for about four links to be taken down - meaning that the firm has received a total of a quarter of a million takedown requests in total. 

Google cannot delete the information itself, but it can delete the link on its search engine.

The firm has since been in touch with national newspapers as well as the BBC to notify them of the links that they would be removing from its search engine.

It has for example, taken down links to a BBC article that detailed how former Merrill Lynch CEO E.Stanley O'Neal was ousted after the investment bank made billions of dollars of losses. It had also removed stories about a Scottish football referee who lied about a controversial penalty, but after protestations from The Guardian, it reversed its decision, suggesting that the company is still getting to grips with the "right to be forgotten" ruling.

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