Since May 91,000 Right-To-Be-Forgotten Takedown Requests

Right To Be Forgotten The Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) content removal requests in Europe keep coming in. It's difficult right now to know whether they're leveling off or continuing to increase. On the first day of availability Google's RTBF online form, it received 12,000 submissions. Sources familiar with the status of Google's program told us that there had been 91,000 takedown requests across Europe, involving nearly 330,000 URLs since the court decision that formalized RTBF earlier this year. These figures would suggest that RTBF requests had slowed but it might also be explained by pent-up from "early [...]


Blogger Fined By French Court Because Negative Restaurant Review Was Too Prominent In Google

blog-featured A French court has ordered a blogger to pay a substantial fine and change the title of a restaurant review because the review was too prominent in search results and harmed business at the restaurant. The post has since been removed but can be viewed here (via TechDirt). The restaurant, Il Giardino, complained to the court that the critical review had hurt its business. The blogger, Caroline Doudet, had something of a following (3,000) for her blog called "Cultur'elle." This is what enabled the review to rank. According to the BBC, citing court documents, "the review appeared fourth in the [...]


Google Solicits Feedback On Right To Be Forgotten

google-advisory-council Google, which has explained that implementing the EU's new Right To Be Forgotten mandate has been difficult, has opened up a new form allowing the general public to offer it advice. Google's new form invites Google users to submit their thoughts and feedback on the Court of Justice of the European Union mandate for the Right To Be Forgotten. The question posed by Google is: How should one person’s right to be forgotten be balanced with the public’s right to know? Google then explains in more detail: A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union found that European [...]


Yelp Joins Effort To Undo Current Google-EU Antitrust Settlement

yelp-600 Yelp has been an increasingly vocal critic of Google for several years. Now it has joined a group of companies opposing the European Commission's current antitrust settlement proposal with Google. Originally Google and Yelp were partners. Google unsuccessfully tried to buy Yelp for a rumored $500 million a year or so before the company went public. Later Yelp complained that Google was including Yelp reviews in its own local product without permission. According to Yelp, Google said it couldn't remove those reviews without removing Yelp from the index entirely. The dispute was ultimately res [...]


Google Begins Removing Search Results Over “Right To Be Forgotten” Demands

eu-forgotten-forget-600 Google has begun processing and removing the approved submissions done through the right to the Right To Be Forgotten Form. The Right To Be Forgotten is a European Court Of Justice ruling from May 2014 that EU citizens could request that search engines remove links to pages deemed private, even if the pages themselves remain on the internet. Those requests are now being removed from the search results. Here is a screen shot of the disclaimer for the search results for [max mosley] in Google UK: It reads: Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe. [...]


Yes, Google Will Disclose “Right To Be Forgotten” Removals

eu-forgotten-forget-600 The Guardian reports that Google may add a indication in the search results that content has been removed due to the Right To Be Forgotten European Union requirements issued last month. Google told us a couple weeks ago that they will indeed add disclosure in the search results when something is removed from their search results because it was requested via the "Right To Be Forgotten" form. Google currently shows disclosure of removals for DMCA removals. Currently, when Google censors its listings, it shows a little notice at the bottom of its results. You can see that disclosure in th [...]


Right To Be Forgotten “Small Thing” Vs. Copyright Takedowns Says EU Commissioner

eu-forgotten-forget-600 European Commissioner for Justice Viviane Reding was quoted in a BBC interview saying that the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) will be relatively easy for Google to administer. She asserted that, compared to the millions of copyright removal requests Google deals with, the thousands of RTBF requests are a "small thing." Google also manages government removal requests on a global basis. These scenarios seem to indicate that Google will be able to manage a RTBF process. The challenge isn't in the mechanics of administration. The central challenge concerns the standards and rules about wh [...]


EU Regulators Meet Amid “Right To Be Forgotten” Confusion

EU Google The caution "be careful what you wish for" might be appropriate going into a meeting of 28 European privacy regulators in Brussels this week. Following the European Court of Justice's creation of the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) and Google's launch of a web form to field requests (now over 41,000), privacy officers must come up with a Europe-wide system for implementation of the new rule. The challenge facing the regulators is daunting: Balancing privacy rights with the public interest Creation of uniform standards across the 28 member jurisdictions so that outcomes don't vary wild [...]


Right To Be Forgotten Requests Keep Coming, Now 41,000

EU Google As of the end of last week there were roughly 12,000 requests that had been officially submitted to Google under Europe's judicially created "right to be forgotten" (RTBF) rule. Google launched an online form last week to field the requests. According to the Wall Street Journal the 12,000 have now turned into 41,000. That's roughly 10,000 a day since the form went live. While the volume and pace are decreasing somewhat from last week, the numbers coming in remain brisk. Google could be faced in a few weeks with several hundred thousand requests from 28 countries, creating a major hea [...]


China Engaged In Total Censorship Campaign Against Google

google-china-featured The cat and mouse game between China, Google and the internet continues. Today and tomorrow are the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Fearing another anti-government uprising, every year at this time China cracks down on its citizens' ability to access information about the event online. However this year, China is going to greater lengths to block Google, in particular. According to the New York Times the Chinese government has taken Google censorship to new levels. It appears that all or substantially all the company's services are being blocked, not just search: In a [...]


Google Comparison Ads Under Fire In UK

google-uk-england-featured The UK financial services industry regulator Financial Conduct Authority is taking a closer look at Google Comparison Ads. UK price comparison sites have complained that Google is unfairly competing with them by placing its own "product" at the top of search results. Comparison Ads, which operate on a CPA basis, are one form of AdWords. Below is an example of how the ads look in US search results: The UK inquiry essentially mirrors broader antitrust ('vertical search") complaints against Google around the globe. Google's pending antitrust settlement in Europe is under fire from poli [...]


Google Maps Now Has Driving Directions In North Korea

Google-Maps-icon North Korea Tech reports that Google Maps now has driving directions in North Korea. As the site reports, "North Korea has strict controls on internal movement, a scarcity of private car ownership and almost no internet users." Despite all of that, Google Maps can give those who do have a car and internet access the ability to see directions and traffic via the Google Maps apps or website. Back in January 2013, Google encouraged users to use Google Maps Maker to help them build the roads and mapping. It seems that request worked and now much of North Korea is mapped. Here are some scr [...]


Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin: I Wish I Could Forget The “Right To Be Forgotten”

EU Google Tonight at the Re/Code conference in Southern California, Google co-founder Sergey Brin was interviewed on stage. He discussed many things, including the diverse range of "Google X" projects: indoor mapping (Tango), WiFi balloons (Project Loon), new prototype self-driving cars and more. Curiously the main interview, though wide ranging, didn't get into the recent European Court ruling on the Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF). During audience Q&A it came up in a single question, to which Brin jokingly and dismissively replied: "I wish we could just forget the ruling," Brin says. "But we're n [...]


Actress Sues Google For Indexing Porn Search Results Tied To Her Name

google-legal-cash-featured Maria Belen Rodriguez is an Argentina-born model, actress and TV personality who now lives and works in Italy. She successfully sued Google and Yahoo in 2006 in her native country, alleging that her likeness was wrongfully appropriated by porn sites and then indexed/republished or disseminated by search engines. There was an alleged sex tape involving Belen Rodriguez (in roughly 2011), which is either the source or a source of the porn-related search results tied to her name. Apparently the porn sites that have damaged her reputation were not sued originally. The precise legal claims [...]


Is Google’s European Antitrust Settlement In Jeopardy?

google-eu-featured Widespread dissatisfaction among public and political figures with the existing antitrust settlement between Google and the European Commission appears to be putting the settlement in danger. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the run up to this week's European Parliament elections saw an increase in "rhetoric against the settlement with Google." The article depicts an intense, behind the scenes lobbying effort by both sides: on the one hand Google is trying to bolster the settlement while other officials want to revisit it and potentially start over. The rhetoric and behavior als [...]


New “Open Internet Project” Seeks To Derail Google-EU Antitrust Settlement

google-eu-600 Frustrated by what it sees as the European Commission's capitulation to Google, a new group called the "Open Internet Project" (OIP) seeks to derail the current Google antitrust settlement or create a new investigation. A mixture of French and German publishers and companies are behind the initiative. The OIP claims to represent hundreds more European internet companies which argue, in essence, Google is too powerful and too much in control of what happens online. The group submitted a new competition complaint to the European Commission reasserting or reviving most of the complaints pre [...]


India Opens Second Google Antitrust Investigation Over AdWords

google-legal-cash-featured Google is in the midst of an antitrust, anti-competition investigation in India. Not long ago, the company was fined by the  Competition Commission of India (CCI) for not cooperating in that investigation: "not providing information and documents required." Now a separate anti-competition investigation has been opened with the CCI. In that investigation an individual, Vishal Gupta, has complained about suspension of an AdWords account: The complainant had alleged that several remote tech support companies, including his firm, had been suspended from the AdWords programme to promote Goog [...]


Google Readies For Flood Of Removal Requests After EU “Right To Be Forgotten” Ruling

bell-request-service-600 The floodgates have opened. According to a Reuters story, following Tuesday's European Court ruling establishing a  Europe-wide "right to be forgotten" (RTF), Google is preparing for an anticipated "flood" of removal requests across the 28 country jurisdiction. The ruling provided a right to individuals to request (and ultimately compel) removal of unflattering or undesired information about themselves from search results, even if the underlying content is legal and maintained online by a publisher. The European Court offered no tests or procedural guidance to determine what sorts of lega [...]


Research In India Claims To Show How Search Rankings “Could” Impact Elections

mobile seo myths Psychologist and researcher Robert Epstein has published research (embedded below) that he contends shows how search rankings "have the potential to profoundly influence voters without them noticing the impact." He calls this capacity the "Search Engine Manipulation Effect" or "SEME." The study tested how search rankings affected the perceptions and candidate preferences of "2,000 undecided voters throughout India." India just concluded national elections. The research found that rankings could affect undecided voter opinion significantly: "votes in India can easily be pushed toward one [...]


Holi Google Logo Celebrates India’s Festival Of Colors On Google India’s Homepage

Holi Google logo2 While many will see a St. Patrick's Day logo on Google's homepage today, Google India users will see a Holi logo to mark India's spring festival of colors. Celebrating the arrival of spring, Holi events include a Holika bonfire on the eve of the holiday with singing and dancing. Holi festivals are hosted openly in the streets with everyone dousing each other in a rainbow of colors, using dry powder or water guns and water balloons filled with colored-water. The actual date of Holi varies every year as it coincides with the approach of the vernal equinox, but usually takes place in Ma [...]


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