Google denied 60% of right to be forgotten requests

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Google’s latest transparency report reveals it rejected nearly 60 per cent of the right to be forgotten requests.

It was on May 13, 2014 that the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) granted Europeans the right to request removal of search results.

Google’s updated transparency report shows it received over 253,000 removal requests covering over 920,000 links since last May. The search giant removed a little over 40 percent of those links, rounding up to about 380,000.

The tech giant claimed that the highest number of requests came from the EU’s biggest countries. About 780 requests per million inhabitants were received by Google from France, 530 per million from Germany, 500 per million from the U. K., 490 per million from Spain and 310 per million from Italy. The search giant accepted nearly half of the link removal requests from France and Germany; although the acceptance rate was lower in other countries ranging from 37.5 percent in the U.K. to 27.6 percent in Italy.

One example in which Google agreed to the user’s request reads, “An individual who was convicted of a serious crime in the last five years but whose conviction was quashed on appeal asked us to remove an article about the incident. We removed the page from search results for the individual’s name.”

An example in which the search giant denied the request reads, “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.”

Facebook topped the list with 6772 URLs removed from Google’s search results, followed by New Zealand social network search engine profileengine.com (6035) and the Google Groups forum (4000). Google Plus, YouTube, Twitter, German people search engine Yasni, Facebook event list service whereevent. com, people search engine 192. com and dating site Badoo were the most affected top ten sites.

EU data protection authorities are calling out Google to extend the service to its main site at google.com, which still returns the disputed links in its search results.

“We want the removals to be applicable on all Google sites,” Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, head of France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, told The Wall Street Journal.

“Their position will have to change.”