Google has started acting on the initial set of requests it received through the ‘right to be forgotten’ form to comply with EU ruling that upheld citizens’ right to have their obsolete personal information removed from search results.
“This week we’re starting to take action on removals requests that we’ve received,” a Google spokesman said on Thursday.
“This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually and we’re working as quickly as possible to get through the queue.”
Google is, in parallel, working with data protection authorities in a bid to refine its processes and standards regarding which all information about people can be and should be removed and which information should remain – in the best interest of the general public.
The European court upheld the ‘right to be forgotten’ when it ordered Google to remove a link to a 15-year old newspaper article about a Spanish man’s bankruptcy.
As a part of the ruling, the Court had asked Google to provide ways through which Europeans can request removal of data from its search results. Google received as many as 41,000 in the first 4 days of the form being live hinting at possibilities that freedom of information may be trampled upon in Europe. The ruling only applies to Europe and users in US will not be able to request such removal.
The guidelines set by the EU for removal of links are rather broad and a balance has to be struck between privacy and public interest. Google hasn’t provider to the point details on which it will honour or deny the removal request; however, those not happy with Google’s decision of not removing the links may approach national data protection authority.