Will Google’s EU Woes Ever End?

google and the right to be forgotten ruling

The EUs “Right to be Forgotten Ruling” seems to be one endless headache for Google. The latest reports suggest that Google’s handling of these requests is the latest item up for scrutiny by European data protection authorities. What seems to be the problem? Well, it appears that Google is only removing links from search results in the EU, such as Google.co.uk but not Gooogle.com.

This action does effectively defeat the purpose of the ruling, as the offending links can still technically be found through non localized search. Google was recently accused of purposely misinterpreting the ruling in order to stir up advocates claiming the ruling itself is censorship.

The issue of censorship seems to be a hazy line drawn in the sand. While the intention is that fresh content, overtime, should lose relevance as the facts pertaining to an individual become outdated. The decisions of who and what events should be included are still largely up for debate – and by “debate” I mean up to Google.

Another point of contention is Google’s notification process. Currently the search giant sends notification to sites that have had search results removed. The data protection authorities have voiced concerns over the effects this may have on those submitting the removal request.

Because the right to be forgotten ruling is still in its infancy, there’s no doubt that this will be a hot topic for years to come as data protection authorities and Google hash out regulations and guidelines that will encapsulate most removal requests. It has been reported that Google has received some 91,000 removal requests effecting over 328,000 urls. The countries with the largest numbers are reported as France and Germany, followed by the UK.

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