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 [...]


Right To Be Forgotten: Do Users Even Care?

Right To Be Forgotten In the last few weeks, two monumental events related to Internet privacy caused the biggest uproar in discussions about personal privacy since Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA. In May, the European Court of Justice ruled that Google must respect the "right to be forgotten" and at the request of private individuals remove "irrelevant" and "outdated" information. To comply with the ECJ's ruling, Google set up a form online for individuals to have their information removed from the web, and they have been deluged with requests. Last month, during its Worldwide Developer Conference [...]


Larry Page On Right To Be Forgotten: “Could Have Arrived At More Practical Place Than Court Ruling”

EU Google Larry Page offered his thoughts on the European court's "Right To Be Forgotten" ruling during an interview at Google's I/O conference this week with New York Times reporter Farhad Manjoo. Page claimed it would have been better if there had been more discussion around the matter. "We could have arrived at a more practical place than a court ruling," said Page. He went on to add that Google is complying with the ruling, and will begin removing links quickly, even though he pointed out that he didn't believe the court's decision was practical. "If you're an aggrieved user, you have to ge [...]


The Inevitable Happened: First Company Provides “Right To Be Forgotten” Removal Service

EU Google Now that the European Courts have given its citizens the "Right To Be Forgotten" in major search engines, the inevitable has happened -- a brand new business model built on removal requests has taken shape. In response to the EU giving individuals the right to request Google remove URLs from its European search results, Reputation VIP has launched Forget.me, an online service that appears to be the first designed specifically to help individuals complete Google link removal request forms. Acting as a middleman between an individual and Google, Forget.me is the frontrunner in what will mo [...]


Google: The European Court Is Really Telling You To Be More “Relevant”

Google legal So, it finally happened. After years of people telling me that "Europe" will do nothing about Google and me saying that one day "Europe" will probably bite back, it did. "Europe" bit off a whole chewy chunk of Google and all other search engines in just one surprise and relatively unexpected verdict. The hysteria surrounding the case has reached all corners of the press. "Freedom of speech destroyed," they say. "Criminals are already asking for removal of their information," they say. Even Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia is distraught. But yes, this is a big deal. It has certainly left some mem [...]


The “Right To Be Forgotten” – EU Court Gives People Ability To Delete Their Google Search Results

google-eu-featured The "right to be forgotten": a triumph of individual privacy rights or censorship? It's going to depend on how it plays out in specific circumstances. The Luxembourg-based European Union Court of Justice, Europe's "top court," ruled earlier today that Google can be compelled to remove information about individuals from search results as part of a new, EU-specific "right to be forgotten." The ruling will have no impact on US search results or those in other markets. However the ruling is significant in that it creates another chasm between the way that Google operates in North America and Eur [...]


Google Updates Its Privacy Policy

google-locks-privacy-featured You may have noticed Google's Privacy Policy has been updated as of March 31, with a red letter "Updated" call-out the site's home page preceding Google's Privacy & Terms link. This is the first time the company has updated the policy this year, following an update in December of 2013. There were only two updates last year, one occurring on June 24 and the other on December 20. Google posted a "Comparison" page to outline the most recent Privacy Policy updates, along with an archive of updates dating back to June 9, 1999. "As you use our services, we want you to be clear how we're [...]


German Courts Follow French Ruling & Order Google To Block Max Mosley Images In Search Results

Google Europe Google has lost another case in the Max Mosley lawsuit, this time in Germany. According to a Reuter's report, a German court has ruled Google is responsible for distributing scandalous pictures of the former Formula One president, and is ordering the search engine to block links to the images from appearing in search results. The lawsuit stems from a 2008 case Mosley won against the British tabloid News of the World for publishing photos of Mosley engaged in a sex party with prostitutes. Last year, Mosley filed a lawsuit against Google in France and Germany to keep the images from appearing [...]


An Easy Way To Check What Referrer Data Google, Bing Or Yahoo Pass To Your Secure Site

secure With the three major search engines migrating their default searches to secure search, over SSL/HTTPS, marketers and webmasters want to know what referrer and analytics data will be passed to them and what won't. The majority of Google is secure search, Yahoo yesterday defaulted all searches to be conducted over SSL, and Bing is currently testing SSL search for those who opt in. Testing Referrer Data From HTTPS Search To HTTP URL The default protocol for passing referrer from an HTTPS URL to a non HTTPS URL is to not pass any referrer data at all. Both Yahoo and Bing comply with that, whi [...]


Google Remarketing Ads Found To Violate Canadian Privacy Law; To Revamp Ad Review System By June

google-canada-featured Google has agreed to several concessions after an investigation by Canada's Office of the Privacy Commissioner found Google in violation of Canada's privacy rights for the use of sensitive health history in remarketing campaigns. The investigation began last January, when a man complained that his personal health history was being used for ad targeting purposes.  After searching for and visiting sites related to medical devices for sleep apnea, he was retargeted with display ads for those devices when he browsed the web. The Commissioner's office has agreed with the man that Google [...]


Google’s Latest Transparency Report Shows Rise In Content Removal Requests From Russia & Turkey

google-transparency-report Google announced today it has released its eighth Transparency Report since 2010 when the search engine began providing data on government requests to remove content. According to the latest Transparency Report covering the first half of 2013, Google saw a "significant" increase in the number of requests from Turkey and Russia, with Russia's requests to remove content more than double the number of requests the country filed throughout 2012. For the US, Google says it saw a 70 percent increase in the number of content removal requests compared to the second half of 2012. The site receive [...]


Google Maps Makes Exception & Speeds Up Process To Replace Image Of Shooting Victim

Google maps icon Google Maps is making an exception to its process for reviewing image removal requests, and speeding up the actions needed to replace a satellite image of a 14-year old shooting victim. Following a story broadcast on KTVU-TV, a CNN affiliate in Oakland, California and a report on CNN.com, Google claims it will take approximately eight days to remove the image of the 2009 crime scene involving the slain teenager. According to an update on the story from CNN.com, vice president of Google Maps Brian McClendon released the following the statement: Our hearts go out to the family of this young [...]


Google Claims Government Requests For User Information Have Increased Over 100% Since 2010

google-transparency-report Google released an updated Transparency Report today, claiming government requests for user information have increased more than 100 percent since it began posting transparency reports in 2010. According to Google, this is the eighth update to its transparency report in the last three years. Google said the climb in requests is in part a result of an increase in the number of governments wanting information, "More governments have made requests than ever before. And these numbers only include the requests we're allowed to publish." The top three governments requesting information between [...]


Google Says European Law Does Not Support Mosley Lawsuit To Censor Search Results

Google Europe Yesterday, Google posted a plea on their Google Europe blog asking European courts to dismiss a lawsuit filed by former Formula One president Max Mosley. The lawsuit requests that Google build a filter to identify and block what Mosley claims is unlawful content. A report on Bloomberg.com claims Mosley's lawyers filed a suit in a French Court, asking Google to create filters that could identify and remove content referencing "Nazi-themed" sex parties in association with Mosley.  A lawsuit has also been filed in Hamburg, Germany. In response to the lawsuit, Google's associate general cou [...]


Privacy Groups Want Judge To Reject Google’s $8.5 Million Settlement Over Search Privacy Lawsuit

google-legal-240px Last month, Google agreed to pay $8.5 million into a settlement fund over a class-action lawsuit by two searchers who accused the company of transmitting their personal information to third parties without their consent or knowledge that the information was being shared. The final court approval of the proposed settlement was scheduled for today, but five US privacy groups have asked the court to reject the preliminary settlement agreement. Electronic Privacy Information Center, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Watchdog, Patient Privacy and Privacy Rights Clearinghouse wrote a joint l [...]


Report: Google’s Not Provided Reached 49% & Much Higher In Technology Industry

Not Provided BrightEdge has released a report showing that for the 8,400 brands they tracked over the last quarter, 49% of the queries collected did not provide (i.e. not provided) search query data due to Google's secure search. 49% was the average, in fact, it is higher for the technology industry. BrightEdge said that "56% of traffic to computer, electronics, software and technology sites is coming from Google secure search." On the low end, such as in the entertainment and consumer services sites, the percentage of secure searches is 46%. Guess what, it is even worse for search sites. For my sear [...]


Rejoice! Safari Is Once Again Providing Google Referral Information In iOS

apple-safari-featured Since last September, people using Safari on iOS devices and searching on Google have appeared to publishers as if they came directly to their sites, not via Google. Now, the problem has ended, with iOS now apparently having been upgraded to support the "meta referrer" tag. No, this doesn't solve the "not provided" issue, where Google itself may strip search terms used to find a site from the referrer passed to publishers. However, at least people should now appear as if they came from Google Search generally, rather than as if they were "direct" visitors. With iOS 7, Apple's new iOS upd [...]


Google Agrees To Settle Lawsuit Over Passing Search Queries To Third Parties

google-legal-240px Google has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit that stems from two searchers accusing the company of sharing their search queries with third parties without user content or knowledge. As part of the settlement, Google has agreed to pay $8.5 million into a settlement fund, with that money going to seven groups/organizations on the condition that they agree to use the money for public education and/or research related to protecting online privacy. In October 2010, Paloma Gaos sued Google because the company "transmitted user search queries to third parties without knowledge or consent [...]


Duck Duck Go’s Post-PRISM Growth Actually Proves No One Cares About “Private” Search

duckduckgo-featured Look out, Google! Duck Duck Go is on the rise, posting a 50% traffic increase in just eight days. Is this proof people want a "private" search engine, in the wake of allegations the PRISM program allows the US government to read search data with unfettered access? Nope. Google has little to worry about. People don't care about search privacy, and Duck Duck Go's growth demonstrates this. Don't get me wrong. If you ask people about search privacy, they'll respond that it's a major issue. Big majorities say they don't want to be tracked nor receive personalized results. But if you look at [...]


Mystery Solved: Why Mobile Safari Searchers Appear To Come “Direct” To Sites Rather Than Via Google

Mobil Safari Icon Since September, people using Safari in iOS 6 and searching on Google have appeared to publishers as if they've come directly to their sites, as opposed to having been driving by search. At last, the reason behind the Dark Google cut-off of data has been found: mobile Safari doesn't support the "meta referrer" tag. I know. Publishers who have been closely watching this situation are probably thinking that the reason was already known. It was Google Secure Search, and how Google's change to that back in October 2011 to withhold search terms means anything using that system will have sea [...]


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