How will Right To be forgotten work?

1. How will Google and other search engines determine what’s “relevant”? Someone applying for a job might feel that a link to a past nightclub altercation isn’t relevant and should be deleted. The prospective employer might feel it’s very relevant (especially if the employer is another nightclub). In Germany, a former SS commando named Henrich Boere who was a Nazi hit man during World War II tried to invoke the right to be forgotten in bringing charges against reporters who secretly videotaped his confession. A judge acquitted the reporters. But the question remains: Whose standard of relevancy applies?

2. What does it mean for personal information to be “inadequate”? If a news story mentions a drunk-driving arrest but fails to note that the driver was Phi Beta Kappa, is that inadequate? No single link can be expected to portray a person in all of his or her complexity. If that’s what adequacy means, it’s an impossibly high standard that could lead to wholesale destruction of the system of links that make up the Internet. The decision “allows individuals to complain to search engines about information they do not like with no legal oversight,” Index on Censorship, an advocacy group, said in a statement. “This is akin to marching into a library and forcing it to pulp books.”

3. If passage of time is important, as indicated by the “no longer relevant” standard, then how much time must pass? Is it two months for a mildly embarrassing gaffe at a holiday party but five years for a bankruptcy filing? Statutes of limitations have grown out of common law, developing over centuries in tandem with changing societal norms. The European Court of Justice is essentially ordering Google and others to create a parallel statute of limitations for Internet links with no history or principles to go by.

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Will Google Delete my Personal Search Results

Can you get your personal information removed from google?

The ruling seems to give search engines more leeway to dismiss take-down requests for links to webpages about public figures, in which the information is deemed to be of public interest. But search engines may err on the side of caution and remove more links than necessary to avoid liability, said Rosen, a long-time critic of such laws. He was asked by Google to speak to reporters on Tuesday’s ruling, but has no formal relationship with the company.

Search engines will also have to authenticate requests, he noted, to ensure that the person seeking a link’s removal is actually the one he or she claims to be.

Google is the dominant search engine in Europe, commanding about 93 percent of the market, according to StatCounter global statistics. Microsoft Corp’s Bing has 2.4 percent and Yahoo Inc has 1.7 percent.

Google has some experience dealing with take-down requests in its YouTube video website, which has a process to remove uploads that infringe copyrights. Google has automated much of the process with a ContentID system that automatically scans uploaded videos for particular content that media companies have provided to YouTube.

Google may be able to create similar technology to address the EU requirements, said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis.

Even if Google does not automate the process, the extra cost of hiring staffers is likely to be insignificant to a company that generated roughly $60 billion in revenue last year, Gillis said. If Google were to pay staffers $15 an hour to process take-down requests, for example, the company could get a million hours of work for $15 million, he said. “It’s the cost of doing business for them.”

Google has said it is disappointed with the ruling, which it noted differed dramatically from a non-binding opinion by the ECJ’s court adviser last year. That opinion said deleting information from search results would interfere with freedom of expression.

Yahoo is “carefully reviewing” the decision to assess the impact for its business and its users, a spokeswoman said in a statement. “Since our founding almost 20 years ago, we’ve supported an open and free internet; not one shaded by censorship.”

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EU court has ruled on Google

A top EU court has ruled Google must amend some search results at the request of ordinary people in a test of the so-called “right to be forgotten”.

The European Union Court of Justice said links to “irrelevant” and outdated data should be erased on request.

The case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home on Google’s search results infringed his privacy.

Google said the ruling was “disappointing”.

The search engine says it does not control data, it only offers links to information freely available on the internet.

It has previously said forcing it to remove data amounts to censorship.

The EU Justice Commissioner, Viviane Reding, welcomed the court’s decision in a post on Facebook, saying it was a “clear victory for the protection of personal data of Europeans”.

“The ruling confirms the need to bring today’s data protection rules from the “digital stone age” into today’s modern computing world,” she said.

The European Commission proposed a law giving users the “right to be forgotten” in 2012.

It would require search engines to edit some searches to make them compliant with the European directive on the protection of personal data.

In its judgement on Tuesday, the court in Luxembourg said people had the right to request information be removed if it appeared to be “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant”.


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Deleting Personal Information Online

Deleting personal information from the internet is not black and white…  This isn’t so much the “right to be forgotten” as the “right not to be found”.

It’s no wonder the U.S. search giant is unhappy.

Whatever your position on online privacy and whether or not an individual having the right to request certain personal information be removed amounts to censorship, it’s hard not to argue it’s the originating source that should be targeted, not an “agnostic” search engine.

Making Google — and its search engine ilk — responsible for the content it indexes is a slippery slope to say the least and could have multiple ramifications around the censorship of all sorts of “data”. (Safe harbour, anyone?)

Instead, what should probably happen is that Google’s spiders simply respect information that has been removed or de-indexed by the originating source online, following a privacy offence under EU law.

That said, this does get awfully complex when you consider things like Google cache, or noble projects like Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, regardless of where you sit in the debate between right to privacy and freedom of speech.

However this eventually shakes out — the EU has been pushing hard to legislate specifically on the issue — the “right to be forgotten” is certainly going to be messy.


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EU Rules On Right To Be Forgotten on Google

Google has been told that user have Right To Be Forgotten

Google received requests to remove objectionable personal information from its search engine just hours after the European judges ruled people have the “right to be forgotten,” sources say.

The take down requests came after the European Court of Justice ruled Internet search engines must remove information deemed “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” or face a fine.

The ruling only compels Google to remove the link to the information, rather than the information itself.

The case highlights the battle between freedom of expression and privacy


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