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Is Google working the 'right to be forgotten' system?

Is Google Working The 'Right To Be Forgotten' System?

Under The EU's new Right to be Forgotten, anyone can petition Google to have irrelevant or misleading content removed from its indexing services.

This doesn't remove the content itself, just Google's listing. And it's only from certain EU google domains - searches from, say, the U.S. Google site can turn up some of those blacklisted results.

All the same, objection has been swift and dire: BGR worries the new system is ripe for abuse and already trending toward censorship.

The Guardian stuck an asterisk on the concept of a Google search: Now, "You see the most important information the target of your search is not trying to hide."

But there's a new argument being floated by some industry watchers - that Google is just as disillusioned with the whole idea as everyone else, and is playing by the rules to call attention to just how absurd they are.

Those deleted links, after all, are getting plenty of coverage - especially from those organizations that lose out on traffic as a result. Six of The Guardian's own articles were blocked this way.

The idea, some outlets would suggest, is to get journalists, organizations and the public on its side - and in the process turn an indirect spotlight on the links it's deleting through the Right to be Forgotten.

the right to be forgotten system

Peter Barron, director of Google communications for Europe, talked to BBC radio 4:

"This is new territory for us all, we opposed the ruling, there is no right of appeal in the European Court of Justice, but we think it's important to have a public debate about this. It's a very, very important issue."

But Google is stopping short of admitting to forcing the issue by proxy of public outcry - a tactic some, including Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land, think is too roundabout anyway.

"If Google wanted to gum up the works, it could have rejected all requests... That would have put huge pressure on privacy regulators to deal with this situation, which in turn would have put huge pressure on various EU governments on how they really wanted to enforce this court mandate. Google didn't do that."

Google has fielded more than 70,000 requests for removal since the ruling came down in May - which Google reps say amount to a quarter million individual links to content.

Join the discussion

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tazgadon July 05 2014 at 12:42 PM

Why are any of these companies retaining our information in the first place????

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2 replies
JackieRay tazgadon July 05 2014 at 1:11 PM

they are PUBLIC records

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boardsrbetter tazgadon July 05 2014 at 5:16 PM

no, these companies like to sell our info to thier affiliates, who then berrate us with emails attempting to sell shyt.

Always read the fine print. :p

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Hey, Dude July 05 2014 at 11:18 AM

I don't see how it's anybody's business to read about another person's background on these disgusting, whorish sites--and I don't give a flying rat's buttocks if those organizations loose out on traffic as a result of the Right to be Forgotten ruling, because most of them are nothing but bottom feeders who just want to lure people in to make themselves even richer. There are legal ways to find out if someone has a felony background--and I get that in some cases, this information is necessary...but let those who need it get it the old fashioned way, and stop allowing nosy, pushing, stupid people from being able to look up how much their neighbor makes a year, or how many times they've been married! Nobody has the right to dig into someone else's personal history, and the filthy pricks who made those sites don't deserve to do what they do. Stopping them isn't censorship--it's common decency, because they're the ones who are hurting innocent people with their intrusive, arrogant sites.

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tlssfo July 05 2014 at 12:55 PM

Google should be put out of business. They should have always respected the rights of an individual to private information and to be able to share only with those they choose.

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3 replies
ladkraemer July 05 2014 at 10:27 AM

They should have a law like this here in the states... Individuals have a right to privacy unless they committed a felony.

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1 reply
boardsrbetter ladkraemer July 05 2014 at 5:09 PM

Its not just for individual though, this benefits major buisness and corperation far more than it does the people. Dont be a sheep.

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boardsrbetter July 05 2014 at 5:14 PM

Guys, this isnt for people, this is for big buisiness. Lets say Mcdonalds has a big food issue, all of thier food has some nasty mold spore in it. Now if you go the companies website to inform others that this is a fact, and they shouldnt eat there, Mcdonalds could have it removed and say it was irrelevant.

That wasnt a very good example, but i happened to be eating a mcdonalds side salad, so it just popped up.

The big companies pushing this would have you believe its for your own rights, but the only thing that matters is money.

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troopabn July 05 2014 at 10:49 PM

Maybe you should all read about how Vringo sued and one a huge case against Google. Won on all 14 counts. And Google still tried to say they don't use that technology that they infringed with! Well, it's in the appeals court now, and still isn't looking good for them. VRNG stock will no-doubt triple when appeals toss them out on the street!

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blackwheelturning July 06 2014 at 2:07 AM

death to google, death to the internet

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hmadden July 05 2014 at 8:48 PM

The decision sounds like one made by jurists who have no understanding of either computer technology or the internet.

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adika3z July 05 2014 at 7:37 PM

in europe / EU countrys are using google dot com alot everyday - everynight.
stop complain about google.
google is half american and half ussr russia.
not good idea.
rather google is a only american and not ussr russia.

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jewel July 05 2014 at 5:34 PM

DUAAAAAA obama...

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