What Is The “Right To Be Forgotten”

In May 2014, the European Court Of Justice ruled that EU citizens have a “Right To Be Forgotten,” that they could request that search engines remove links to pages deemed private, even if the pages themselves remain on the internet. Our explainer post has more background about this: The Myths & Realities Of How Of The EU’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” In Google Works

As of June 2014, Google has established a form where people can request removals, as our story explains: How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works. Bing has promised one is coming soon; Yahoo has said plans for removal are in development.

Read Search Engine Land’s latest news related to the Right To Be Forgotten:

Bing Opens Its Right To Be Forgotten Form

bing-600 Over six weeks after Google launched their form for Europeans who want to make their Right To Be Forgotten request, Microsoft Bing has launched theirs over here. The form does differ from Google's but both Google and Bing, as well as other search engines, have the obligation to follow the mandate and review each request submitted to them. The form gives Microsoft enough details to make a decision on if they will remove content from their search listings or leave it, based on the EU mandate established about two months ago. The form starts off with this message: If you are a European res [...]


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that Google must respect the "right to be forgotten" and at the request of private individuals remove "irrelevant" and "outdated" information.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 [...]


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 [...]


Google Speaks About Difficult Decisions In Implementing “Vague & Subjective” Right To Be Forgotten

Right To Be Forgotten [caption id="attachment_196385" align="alignright" width="275"] David Drummond[/caption] Writing today in the Guardian, Google's chief legal officer David Drummond spoke to mistakes Google made in removing some links last week under the EU's new Right To Be Forgotten mandate, as well as the difficulties in implementing the law, including naming some criteria where removals are less likely to happen. Some Links Restored; Removal Process "Work In Progress" From his opinion piece, about the restoration of some removals last week, Drummond wrote: Only two months in our process is still very [...]


Google’s EU Censorship Removes Links For More Than Just Names On Their Own

eu-forgotten-forget-600 It turns out that those in the European Union asking Google to "forget" links they don't like that appearing for searches on their names are also getting links removed for any search that involves their names and additional words, rather than just their names alone. Until now, it wasn't clear that Google was removing links for more than just names on their own. But the company has confirmed to me that this is the situation. Filtering For More Than Just The Name To understand, let's assume there's someone named "Emily White" who doesn't like that a search for her name on Google brings [...]


The EU’s Right To Be Forgotten Is A Mess & How Google’s Making It Worse

Right To Be Forgotten "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," the saying goes. There are plenty of good intentions with the EU's Right To Be Forgotten mandate, as well as Google's attempt to meet new obligations under it. Things are still going to hell regardless. Thanks to the new right, the EU has helped enable convicted pedophiles to ask that their actions be forgotten. It has ensured that businesses convicted of fraudulent activities can seek to have these hidden from the public. And it led this week to censorship of content from at least three major EU news publications. Google, which initi [...]


Google Notifying Publishers For Right To Be Forgotten Removals

Right To Be Forgotten Now that Google has been removing results from the European versions of Google in response to the EU's Right To Be Forgotten requirements, many webmasters are now receiving notifications of these removals. Last night, around 10 p.m. EST, I received a notification for a site I have verified Webmaster Tools access from. The notice read: Notice of removal from Google Search We regret to inform you that we are no longer able to show the following pages from your website in response to certain searches on European versions of Google: [URL(s) go here] For more information, see https://w [...]


Why Everyone In The EU May Look Like They’ve Made A “Right To Be Forgotten” Request In Google

Right To Be Forgotten Google began removing listings in response to the EU's new Right To Be Forgotten mandate last week. As promised, Google is also disclosing to searchers when such removals have happened. However, it is also confusingly reporting that removals may have happened even when they have not. Welcome to Google's new blanket notice that all name-based searches are now subject to censorship. The Removal Notice Notices, according to a source familiar with how Google is handling these, are supposed to appear for any non-celebrity names, when someone does a search using one of Google's EU-specific sea [...]


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 [...]


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. [...]


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 [...]


Bing Says “Right To Be Forgotten” Request Info Coming Soon

mistakes-forget-forgotten-erase-600 The EU's new Right To Be Forgotten doesn't just apply to Google. Microsoft's Bing search engine has to obey it, as well -- and Microsoft says today that it expects to provide information on how to request removals "soon." In a short help file page that went up today, Bing said that it is working on a system for how those in the European Union can request removals. Here's Bing's full statement: We’re currently working on a special process for residents of the European Union to request blocks of specific privacy-related search results on Bing in response to searches on their names. [...]


Right To Be Forgotten Won’t Happen On Google.com

eu-forgotten-forget-600 Many searchers and Google users are asking, will the Right To Be Forgotten form be a feature and option coming to the U.S. on Google.com. The answer is no! A few weeks ago, Google told us the removals will only be available in the European Union, that is until the U.S. government and court finds a way to legally require the same procedure in the U.S., which is unlikely. Google told us that the removals won’t pull a URL out of Google worldwide, that it only will impact the EU based results. So if you get content removed via the form, if you search in the EU, that content will not be [...]


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 [...]


How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works: An Explainer

google-eu-featured Google has taken a big step forward in complying with the European Union's new "Right To Be Forgotten" that was established after a court ruling earlier this month. The company has created a new form allowing those in the EU to request takedown of URLs they dislike. Removals will only happen for EU-versions of Google, and there will be disclosure in Google's results when listings are dropped. How The Form Works [caption id="attachment_192887" align="alignright" width="353"] Google's Right To Be Forgotten Form[/caption] You'll find the new form here. It requires people to select one [...]


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 [...]


The Myths & Realities Of How Of The EU’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” In Google Works

EU Google Depending on what you read, a "Right To Be Forgotten" court ruling in the European Union this week means that now anyone can ask for anything to be removed from Google, which will soon collapse under an overwhelming number of requests. In reality, it's far more limited than it sounds, though the ruling does raise serious concerns. Here's a Q&A on how things really will work, as best we can tell. NOTE: Since this article was written, Google now has created a process for removals. See our follow-up story: How Google’s New “Right To Be Forgotten” Form Works: An Explainer Is i [...]


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