The “right to be forgotten” initiative is underway. The European Union Court of Justice ruled last month that Google allow people to request search result removals in cases that may damage or embarrass people. The court ruled that a person’s right to privacy extends to internet searches and search engines must take steps to review and, in some cases, remove search results.
In response to the ruling, Google began creating a system in which people could request search result removals. Today, those removals are taking place.
The tech giant received more than 41,000 requests for search result removals following the EU ruling. They gave no details on how many of those requests were removed.
Last month’s ruling pertained to all search engines, not just Google. But, Google is the obvious leader in search across Europe and the ruling fell on them the hardest.
Google fought hard against the law and said the burden should be on websites to remove the content, not Google.
How does the removal process work? Google receives the request for removal. Then, must see if the request falls under the court’s ruling of “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” If it does, Google removes it. If Google decides it doesn’t meet the requirements, they have to notify the person requesting the change who can then take the matter to court to force the removal.
Google has also issued a small notification at the bottom of its pages letting users know certain results may have been removed as a result of the EU’s ruling.