EU regulators pick on Google over the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling
The controversial ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling has pulled Google into yet another trouble – this time with complaints that the company is removing links only on the search results page for Europe while they are still available on the international site Google.com.
Google met the data watchdogs known as the Article 29 Working Party along with representatives from its peers such as Yahoo and Bing. The Working Party included data commissioners who are concerned about how the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling is handled.
EU regulators are concerned about the effect it would have on the requestors when the company informs the website owners about the removal of links while experts have expressed concern over the difficulty of implementing it without impacting the freedom of the press as the criteria is used to judge a piece of information to be irrelevant is too broad.
Google has employed recognized academics, policymakers, and civil society experts who will perform advisory roles to mentor Google on implementing the ruling.
The Society of Editors in the UK which represents the media firms requested Prime Minister David Cameron to resist the ruling before Google met the regulators. However, Christopher Graham, Information Commissioner of UK said that Google might have overhyped the concerns expressed by newspapers and broadcasters regarding the ruling.
Google notified EU regulators that it has received more than 91,000 requests since the ruling covering a total of 328,000 links of which more than 50 percent are approved, 15 percent are sought more information and 30 percent are rejected.
The company also said that most of the ‘right to be forgotten’ requests are from users based in France while there are also significant number of requests from Germany, the Great Britain and Spain.
The search giant also notified website owners when a link to their webpage(s) was removed including the Wall Street Journal and BBC and one of the articles were rewritten. There’s also a dedicated website set up to log the information about the link erasures.
While saying that people should sometimes be given the opportunity to move on from the past which the British law regards as spent conviction, he also added that “there’s no such thing as a spent conviction for Google” as it uses people’s personal information to generate revenue.