Google’s ‘right to be forgotten’ form goes live in Europe

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Following the European Union’s right to be forgotten ruling, Google has reluctantly released a Right to be Forgotten Form for users to send requests to the search engine to remove particular search results about themselves.

On May 13, Europe’s highest court passed a ruling that the citizens of European countries can ask search engines to delete search results about them. It works similar to expunging records; the results will not be available to the public but the internet pages regarding them will still exist.

Larry Page, Google CEO said, “That’s one of the things we’ve taken from this, that we’re starting the process of really going and talking to people”.

Google is concerned about people asking to be deleted from results just because they do not like media attention. To prevent such kind of abusing, the company has asked users who submit the form to explain why they consider the URL they want to be deleted as “irrelevant, outdated, or otherwise inappropriate.”

The company has set up an international committee which will decide the reasons for which the requests can be validated for approval of URL deletion.

The form also requests users to furnish “a clear, readable copy of your valid driver’s license, national ID card, or other photo ID.”

The requests thus received will be treated like copyright takedown requests and there will be a notice that such a request was made by the user.

Page also said he regrets not having involved deeper in the right to be forgotten debate. Other Google executives spoke very little about the issue.

Sergey Brin, Google Co-founder said, “I wish we could just forget the ruling,” at the Code Conference.

“You have a collision between a ‘right to be forgotten’ and a right to know,” said Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman at Google.

Google might face problems with processing all the requests on time as they have already received thousands of requests since the ruling was passed.