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 [...]


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 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 [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Secret Contracts Keep Google In Control Of Mobile Search Argues Lawsuit

google-legal-cash-featured A would be class action lawsuit was filed last week against Google in Federal Court in California. The action seeks to resurrect some of the themes and arguments raised in the now settled FTC antitrust case against the company. While repeating familiar abuse of market power allegations against Google, the new civil case is focused on mobile search and Android devices rather than the desktop. The FTC investigation didn't look at Android. The complaint (embedded below) alleges violations of various antitrust and unfair competition laws. However at its factual core is the argument that Goog [...]


420 Dilemma? Marijuana Emerges In Local Search

marijuana-map-600 Today marks the first time that April 20th -- known amongst pot smokers as "420" and frequently celebrated with smoking parties -- is a legally observable event in the United States (in some places, at least, since the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of the drug for adults). So, what does this mean for local businesses and marketers? In 2010, I conducted a limited audit to see if 420 party locations, as well as marijuana dispensaries, appeared in Google Maps. I found little more than a user-generated map back then -- but fast-forward to 2014, and we be [...]


Report: Google Now Master Of Lobbying, Backroom Dealing

google-legal-law-featured An article in the Washington Post asserts that Google has now become a master lobbyist and behind-the-scenes manipulator in Washington. It details the company's increase in campaign contributions and outreach efforts to influence legislators. The message of the lengthy article is that Google is now buying influence and policy outcomes that favor the company. Source: Washington Post There are numerous concrete examples cited for the idea that Google has manipulated policy outcomes or bought influence through contributions to individuals, third party groups or academic institutions. [...]


EU Antitrust Chief Says Google Settlement Essentially Done

google-eu-featured Amid criticism from politicians and Google's critics, EU antitrust chief Joaquín Almunia has essentially said that the current version of Google's antitrust settlement proposal is a done deal. While he didn't rule out changes definitively he seems to think complainants' criticisms have been addressed. The current proposal requires Google to give up considerable screen real estate and branding to vertical rivals. Google's opponents want another "market test" (time for criticism and study of the proposal's potential impact). They also don't want to pay Google for placement in contex [...]


EU Settlement Nearly Done, Google Antitrust Drama Shifts To India

Google legal Although the Google antitrust settlement in Europe isn't final it appears we're in the final minutes of the final act. There still may be a surprise or two in store but we mostly know how this story is going to end. Now it appears the Google antitrust drama is shifting to India, where an antitrust investigation against the company is ongoing. According to a report in the Times of India, that country's competition authority, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has the power to impose a fine of up 10 percent annual revenues, averaged over a three year period. That could mean up t [...]


Will 11th Hour Objections Derail The Google-EU Antitrust Settlement?

Google Europe When the European Commission recently announced yet another antitrust settlement with Google the matter appeared to be coming to an end. This was the third proposed settlement from Google but indications from EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia suggested that it was essentially final and only formalities remained to approve it. Unlike the two previous settlement proposals, this one is reportedly not going to be subjected to a "market test" (formal review by rivals and critics) -- although the European Commission will be accepting comments, apparently. Google's critics immediate [...]


It’s Done: Google Settles Search Antitrust Case In Europe

Google EU Roughly a year after Google settled an antitrust investigation with the US Federal Trade Commission, Bloomberg is reporting that Google and the European Commission have reached a final settlement that would end the regulator's antitrust search investigation against the company. According to the report, "Google will escape fines or any finding by regulators that it may have discriminated against competing search sites." Google similarly escaped any significant fines or penalties in the US investigation. The heart of the controversy as it has evolved -- and the core of the settlement -- is [...]


Report: Google Close (Again) To EU Antitrust Settlement

Google EU The third time may be the charm. According to Reuters Google is (once again) "close to settling a three-year antitrust probe by European regulators after it offered 'much better' concessions" to the European Commission (EC). However Google has been here before. Two previous antitrust settlements were strenuously opposed and thus defeated by Google critics and competitors. As part of that lobbying campaign several sponsored studies were issued, which uniformly found the core of Google's settlement proposals -- prominently showing links to rivals' results -- would have little or no impact on [...]


EU Wants More Search Concessions, Google Defies French Authority

Google Europe Round and round she goes. The European Commission is seeking a final round of "concessions" from Google in an 11th hour effort to settle potential antitrust claims against the company. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia made public statements asserting that Google needs to deliver additional, revised proposals within weeks to avoid a formal antitrust proceeding. What we have now is a kind of high stakes game of chicken. For well over a year there has been a very public back and forth between Google, the European Commission and Google's rivals, who object to the various proposals [...]


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