Google’s widens ‘right to be forgotten’ across EU

Pressure from EU privacy regulators force Google to act on ‘right to be forgotten’ requests across all its domains

Tags: Google Incorporated
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Google’s widens ‘right to be forgotten’ across EU Google will begin blocking search results across all of its domains when a search takes place within Europe (Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  February 11, 2016

Google will now action all requests to block search results across all of its domains, as the right to be forgotten' ruling has widened across Europe.

The ruling enables EU residents to request the removal of search results that they feel link to outdated or irrelevant information about themselves. The search results removed were only from European versions of Google, such as google.co.uk or google.fr.

Last year, the French data protection authority threated Google with a fine if it had not removed results globally, succumbing to that pressure, this ruling now means results will not appear on any version of Google.

French Caldwell, chief evangelist at GRC company MetricStream and former vice president at Gartner said: "Google is usually the first place anyone goes to look up something or someone. Likewise, you can bet it's the first point of reference for potential employers and business partners. Google and other search engines have profiles on virtually everyone, with masses of content readily available, even if it's dated and no longer relevant to someone's life or career today - this is especially true for public figures.

"The question is whether people should be able to walk away from their past, and we're in the remarkable position today where it is up to the search engine to make that decision."

He argued Google possessing such power is far beyond any technology company should have.

"What bothers me is that we're ceding tremendous power to Google. Google isn't a court and it isn't a government, but we're giving it executive and judicial powers to decide what information should or should not be available. The truth is, Google is already deciding what's important online. Its search results are based on a user's profile and behaviours; that's power enough right there."

Since 2014, the public has asked for 1.4m results to be removed, Google has complied with roughly 40% of them, according to the Financial Times.

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