Internet Right To Be Forgotten and Privacy?

Remember back in April 2014, the United Kingdom (UK) went against the EU and sought to opt out of the controversial internet right to be forgotten laws?

Well… Well.. Well…Google right-to-be-forgotten

Back in May 2014, Google provided a form on its search engine, which reads: “In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information.”

Google has said it is disappointed with the EU ruling, and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said the balance the court struck between privacy and “the right to know” was wrong.

Yahoo has previously said it is “carefully reviewing” the decision to assess the impact for both its business and its users.

Microsoft, which operates the Bing search engine, has declined to comment on the ruling.

According to the Guardian

Britons make third highest number of requests in the European Union behind French and Germans after European court right to be forgotten ruling in May 2014.

Britons have asked Google to remove more than 60,000 web links from its results under the right to be forgotten, the internet search company has revealed.

A total of 18,304 requests were made from the UK alone, while across Europe there were 145,000 appeals by individuals wanting links removed – an average of more than 1,000 requests a day.

According to a data released on its website, the firm has removed 35% – or 18,459 – of unwanted links to web pages for Britons, who made the third highest number of referrals in the EU behind the French and Germans with 29,010 and 25,078 respectively.

The company introduced its request process following a European court of justice ruling in May that links to irrelevant and outdated data should be erased on request from searches within the EU.
The move has led to concerns about censorship of material that is accurate and in the public domain.

Google listed some examples of the types of requests made from the UK, including: “A media professional requested that we remove four links to articles reporting on embarrassing content he posted to the internet. We did not remove the pages from search results.”

Another involved an public official who “asked us to remove a link to a student organisation’s petition demanding his removal. We did not remove the page from search results.”

A doctor petitioned the search engine to have more than 50 links to news stories about a botched procedure removed, and while three that did not mention the procedure were removed from search results for his name, the rest remained.

In an indication of how the site must take into account national laws, Google said: “A man asked that we remove a link to a news summary of a local magistrate’s decisions that included the man’s guilty verdict. Under the UK Rehabilitation of Offenders Act this conviction has been spent. The pages have been removed from search results for his name.”

Facebook is the site affected most, with 3,353 links removed Europe-wide, while YouTube follows profileengine.com into third with almost 2,400 posts removed.

“Right to be forgotten” requests can be made by more than 500 million people living in 32 countries.

Source:The Guardian

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