Right to be forgotten Stories January 10, 2019

Google has won an interim victory in the final phase of the long-running ‘right to be forgotten‘ case, indicating that it may not need to censor search results outside EU countries.

The European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled back in 2014 that individuals have a right to require Google to remove sensitive information from search results. It provided a so-called ‘right to be forgotten’ in the case of information relating to private individuals where there is no legitimate public interest in the facts being known …

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Right to be forgotten Stories February 27, 2018

Google has removed 43% of over 2 million ‘right to be forgotten’ URL takedown requests

If you’ll recall, back in 2014 Google was handed a ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that required the company to listen to takedown requests of URLs to abide by the “right to be forgotten.” After three years, the company has just revealed some numbers on the topic.

Right to be forgotten Stories July 19, 2017

Several years ago, the European Union passed a “right to be forgotten” law that instructs tech companies like Google to delist certain content when requested by an individual. Search abides by this, but Google only removes information on a regional, not global, basis.

France’s data protection agency CNIL fined the company on this distinction, with Google appealing last year. Given the significant impact of such a ruling, the appeals court today decided to refer this case to the top European court.

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Right to be forgotten Stories March 25, 2016

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The French data protection regulator CNIL has fined Google €100,000 ($112,000) after rejecting the company’s proposed compromise over the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ legislation.

The legislation gives individuals the right to have ‘outdated or irrelevant’ information about them removed from Google’s search results. Google at first offered to remove the results from Google’s local domains on a country-by-country basis, in this case google.fr, before saying that it would also remove them from google.com when a search was carried out from within France …

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Right to be forgotten Stories March 4, 2016

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Following reports that Google will be more strict with how it complies with the European ‘right to be forgotten‘ act, the search giant today clarified how it would do so.

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Right to be forgotten Stories February 11, 2016

Google to comply more strictly with EU’s ‘right to be forgotten’ act

Following a series of pressures by European regulation and privacy authorities, Google will soon start removing unwanted results from all of its domains. Despite having complied with the EU’s rules regarding the so-called ‘right to be forgotten‘ act, the search giant has so far only removed the results within the specific country’s domain.

Right to be forgotten Stories November 25, 2015

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Google has today updated its Transparency Report with more examples of ‘right to be forgotten‘ requests it has received, stating in each case whether it accepted or rejected the request. This follows other examples last year of easy and difficult cases.

The cases make it clear that Google has to balance fairness to the individual against the wider public interest. For example, while it might agree to remove decades-old information about private individuals, it refused to do so for a public figure in Hungary.

A high ranking public official asked us to remove recent articles discussing a decades-old criminal conviction. We did not remove the articles from search results … 

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 31, 2015

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Google has appealed against France’s order that it must implement ‘Right to be forgotten‘ requests globally, rather than just within Europe, reports the WSJ. The company argued in a blog post that to comply would mean the Internet would only be as free as the least free country in the world …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories July 11, 2015

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A report published recently states that, since the ‘right to be forgotten‘ act was passed in the EU in May 2014, Google has received request from more than 280,000 people to remove over 1 million links to pages.

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 8, 2015

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It was ruled as part of the ‘right to be forgotten‘ case in Europe last year that individuals could request to have links removed from Google search results, and now another group is calling for that right to be expanded to the United States. An activist group on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission that Google needs to expand the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling to the United States, arguing that users should have the right to have inaccurate links removed from search results (via The Hill).

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Right to be forgotten Stories June 18, 2015

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Google controls most of the search engine market in Europe, and as a result receives most ‘right to be forgotten’ requests, those things where individuals can request the de-listing of links to sensitive information about themselves that are deemed out-dated or irrelevant. But more than half of requests are denied, and of those that are appealed, most of those are too denied – which the European Union says is just fine.

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Right to be forgotten Stories June 12, 2015

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Google has so far been meeting the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling in Europe by removing links only from the local site for each country – google.com remaining unaffected. A French court ruled last November that removing links from google.fr was insufficient, and ordered Google to remove the links worldwide.

Google ignored the ruling, and Reuters now reports that the French data protection regulator CNIL has given the company 15 days to comply before imposing sanctions …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories May 13, 2015

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The controversy over the ‘right to be forgotten‘ by Google has often seemed destined to run forever, Google arguing that it was being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests,” while European courts said that the company wasn’t fully complying with the law.

Google said that it was complying with court orders by removing “outdated or irrelevant” sensitive information about individuals from its European sites, while leaving the .com site untouched. European courts want Google to remove results from google.com also.

A piece in the WSJ suggests that a compromise may be reached, however, as Google revealed examples of what it described as easy and difficult cases …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories December 1, 2014

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More than six months after handing down its controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, in which individuals in Europe have the right to have ‘inaccurate, outdated or irrelevant’ links deleted from search engine results, the European Court of Justice has finally published guidelines on how the ruling should be applied.

While the guidelines acknowledge the need to balance the rights of the individual against the public interest, the specifics are best described as vague …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories November 27, 2014

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A European Parliament motion calling for the breakup of Google, separating out the search business from the company’s other activities, has been overwhelmingly approved, reports the WSJ.

In a vote in Strasbourg, 384 legislators voted in favor of the controversial initiative, with 174 against and 56 abstentions […]

“Clear adoption by the EP of Digital Single Market motion, including unbundling for search engine if needed,” tweeted Ramon Tremosa I Balcells, a lawmaker from Spain who backed the proposal.

The vote comes just a day after a separate European call for the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling to be extended to google.com as well as the European versions of its sites …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories November 26, 2014

 

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A European Union panel is trying to get Google to expand the recently passed “right to forgotten” law to the company’s international search engine Google.com. The group is arguing that it’s too easy for people using local versions of Google’s search URL to bypass de-listed links by visiting Mountain View’s primary web search URL which is currently not subject to the controversial ordinance.

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Right to be forgotten Stories November 24, 2014

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Google has reached a settlement with former Morgan Stanley banker Daniel Hegglin who sued the tech company behind negative Internet posts that had an impact on his public reputation. The Hong Kong-based businessman took his case to Britain’s High Court to have Google remove web search content falsely identifying him as a murderer, nazi and a pedophile.

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Right to be forgotten Stories November 17, 2014

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Europe’s controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, giving individuals the right to have sensitive information about them removed from search engines if it is deemed to be ‘out-dated or irrelevant,’ could extend beyond Europe following a recent court ruling.

Google has so far been removing links only from its European sites, for example google.fr in France and google.co.uk in the UK. However, a French court has now ruled that Google is required to remove links globally, and that local subsidiaries can be fined if the company fails to do so, reports the Guardian …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories October 10, 2014

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Google has updated its transparency report for the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, requiring it to remove links to sensitive information about individuals when it is considered out-dated or irrelevant.

The company revealed that it has now received 144,907 requests to evaluate almost half a million links, and that it has so far removed 41.8% of those. Links to facebook topped the list, with 3,331 URLs removed from search results …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories October 8, 2014

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A recent scandal that involved countless private pictures of several high-profile female celebrities being published online was initially linked to Apple’s iCloud, however such claims were never validated and the Cupertino software company has publicly denied such allegations. After taking aim at Apple, some of the outraged celebrities are now targeting Google, threatening to sue the company behind its web search results linking to their leaked photos.

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Right to be forgotten Stories August 20, 2014

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People who have asked Google to remove links to news stories under the controversial European ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling are once again finding the move counter-productive. The BBC News site has posted links to stories removed from Google’s search, bringing back into the spotlight stories that are in some cases more than a decade old.

The BBC posted links to all 12 of the stories removed from Google’s search results. They range from the serious – three men accused of possessing bomb-making equipment in Ireland – to the ridiculous, a dispute over a lost dog …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories August 6, 2014

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In the company’s first transparency report, Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, has revealed some information regarding the site’s censorship under infamous European “right to be forgotten” laws — and it’s clear that he’s not very happy with the people who take advantage of them. This isn’t the first time Wales has spoken out against censorship, but now he’s making it very clear that he feels governments are going just a bit too far.

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Things are getting interesting for Google on the legal front. Not long after the ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and the messy fallout from that, a Hong Kong court has ruled that the company is responsible for auto-complete suggestions where they could be said to defame.

MyBroadband (via The Loop) reports:

A Hong Kong court has ruled that a local tycoon can sue Google Inc for defamation because searches for his name on Google suggest adding the word ‘triad’, Hong Kong’s notorious organized crime groups.

Searches in both English and Chinese for Albert Yeung Sau-shing, the founder and chairman of Hong Kong-based conglomerate Emperor Group, will automatically suggest phrases related to organized crime using Google’s ‘autocomplete’ function.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Hong Kong dismissed Google’s argument that it was not responsible for the autocomplete suggestions related to Yeung and that the court did not have personal jurisdiction over the U.S. search giant … 

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 31, 2014

Europe Antitrust Google

Much discussion on Internet policy has been prompted since the European Union Court of Justice ruled in May of this year that it is an individual’s right to request Google remove sensitive information from search results. Since the ruling on the Right to be Forgotten, as it is often called, Google has established a web page dedicated to taking such requests and begun removing data from its search results as requested although that hasn’t been without further complaints from EU regulators.

For its part, Google has shared its criteria for information removal and announced an the establishment of an advisory panel of experts for fielding concerns throughout this fall over the policy and its implementation. Today the search giant has shared the dates and cities of when that advisory panel will host in-person public discussion on the right to be forgotten. Check below for the specifics: expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories July 30, 2014

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And so the saga continues … In the short time since the EU ruled that individuals have the right to be forgotten when sensitive information found in search results is considered “outdated or irrelevant,” we’ve seen what is probably best described as the makings of a damn good sitcom. (Note to networks: if you make it, I want my ten percent.)

We first had the amusement of deleted links being reported by the media, bringing the stories back into the limelight. We then had Google describing the impossible position in which it has been placed, being asked to make “difficult and debatable judgements” based on “very vague and subjective tests.”

This was followed by the EU rapping Google’s knuckles for doing it wrong, and we now have a bipartisan British governmental committee disagreeing with the EU and agreeing with Google that it is being asked to “enforce the impossible” …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories July 29, 2014

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Former Formula One boss, Max Mosley has filed a lawsuit against Google due to the search giant’s continued publishing of less than flattering photos of him with prostitutes at a sex party. In 2008 Mosley was awarded £60,000 in damages from a court case against News of the World after a High Court ruling. Now, the 74 year old former amateur racer is taking legal action against Google based on the company’s search engine reproducing images related to his previous case against the now defunct UK tabloid.

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 24, 2014

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The mess and uncertainty created by an European court ruling that individuals have a ‘right to be forgotten‘ by search-engines when sensitive information is deemed to be “outdated or irrelevant” just got worse. Regulators are meeting with Google today to express concerns about the way in which Google has chosen to implement the ruling, reports Business Insider.

Under particular scrutiny is Google’s decision to only remove results from its European search engines, such as google.co.uk, meaning anyone can easily access the hidden information by switching to the widely used google.com […]

Another issue likely to be raised by the EU watchdogs is Google’s decision to notify the owners of the websites that have been removed from search results …

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 17, 2014

Europe Antitrust Google

European Union privacy regulators have reached out to Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to discuss the rules of the recent court-ordered “right to be forgotten” rule. EU officials told The Wall Street Journal that they are trying to set up a meeting with the tech juggernauts for next Thursday in Brussels, however it remains unknown if the companies have accepted the invitation.

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 16, 2014

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A controversial European court ruling recently determined that people had the “right to be forgotten” and ordered search engines like Google to purge unflattering web links from their search history, but does the internet really have a delete button? A new website called “Hidden From Google” has been banking links removed since the European Union Court of Justice’s ruling.

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 11, 2014

Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond has revealed in a Guardian comment piece some of the criteria the company is using to decide whether or not to act on ‘right to be forgotten‘ requests, and says that it is creating an independent advisory council to assist it in making these decisions.

[The criteria] include whether the information relates to a politician, celebrity or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet “spent”; and if the information is being published by a government …

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Right to be forgotten Stories July 3, 2014

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Earlier today members of the press started noticing that certain news articles were being removed from Google’s search results due to the company’s recent move to allow takedown requests following a UK court’s ruling that its citizens have the “right to be forgotten.” As various news sources played off the situation by re-running stories (and putting their subjects back in the limelight), Google has responded by restoring many of the missing links.

It’s possible the removals were unintentional anyway. Regarding the criteria for removal, the company originally stated:

When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

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Google sets up data removal webform

Well-known figures taking advantage of Europe’s ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, in which Google and other search engines are required to remove links to sensitive information deemed ‘out-dated or irrelevant’, are not quite getting the results they hoped for. Google is choosing to notify the media when links to stories are removed, and the British media is responding by running stories on the censorship – putting the subjects of the removed links back in the news once more …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories June 26, 2014

wsj

The WSJ is reporting that Google has begun removing search results following a European court decision that individuals have a right to require Google to remove links to information which is “outdated or irrelevant.”

Following the ruling – known as the ‘right to be forgotten’ – Google created a webpage application and announced that each would be evaluated by hand on a case-by-case basis, balancing the right to privacy against legitimate public interest. The company now says that it has begun acting on these requests …  expand full story

Right to be forgotten Stories June 18, 2014

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A recent ruling by the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) ordered Google to remove old web search results that could possibly have a negative impact on a person’s reputation. Often referred to as “the right to be forgotten,” individuals are able to request that “outdated or irrelevant” information about them be purged from the web, but what about non-living entities? Taking its cues from this controversial ruling, a Canadian court has ruled that Google must remove search results for a company’s rival — not only in Canada but around the world.

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Right to be forgotten Stories June 9, 2014

google

A recent ruling by the European Union Court of Justice (ECJ) determined that people had “the right to be forgotten” and mandated that Google remove outdated, unflattering information about them from search queries if requested by an individual. In response to the court’s ruling Mountain View created an online form for people to formally file requests to have old links removed from web searches.

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Right to be forgotten Stories May 29, 2014

google

Following a ruling by a European court that users have the “right to be forgotten” online, Google has launched a new web page that allows some users seeking a bit of privacy to have certain links removed from the company’s search results. The Mountain View search giant says it has already gotten thousands of takedown requests—and that’s before the form was even public (via Re/code).

The system isn’t automated, and Google says it will need to consider each request on a case-by-case basis to decide whether a certain link should be removed or left intact in the interest of public information. If that sounds a bit inefficient, that might be because it is. An introductory statement on the page calls it “an initial effort” which will undoubtedly be improved on over time:

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Right to be forgotten Stories May 26, 2014

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A ruling by Europe’s top court that individuals have a right to require Google to remove sensitive information from search results is unlikely to apply in the USA, according to a number of commentators quoted in an Associated Press piece.

But across the Atlantic, the idea that users should be able to edit Google search results in the name of privacy is being slammed as weird and difficult to enforce at best and a crackdown on free speech at worst …

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