Google Inc., the internet giant reported that most of the requests received by Europeans for exercising their recently awarded Right to be forgotten were rejected. A court ruling had dictated that Google delete links from European search engine results and the company had initiated this process from May 2014. According to the data provided by the search engine giant, the total requests for removal that it had received were somewhere near 145,000 and about 500,000 URLs or uniform resource locators had been evaluated. Thus, on an average, it means that the number of daily requests received is about 1000.
The data from the company showed that it had acceded to 41.8% of the requests received while 58.2% had been declined. The online transparency report of the company showed that the highest number of requests had come in from France, which were about 29,010. With 25, 078 requests, Germany was second while 18, 403 requests had come in from the UK. Examples of the kinds of requests received had been provided by Google and the responses it had given in their case. One of the requests that had been granted by Google was sent in by a woman whose husband had been murdered decades ago.
She had asked for the removal of the article that mentioned her name as well so the page had been removed from search results carried out for her name. A request that had been rejected by the company was sent in by a financial professional who had asked for the removal of nearly 10 links that led to pages mentioning his arrest and conviction because of the financial crimes he had committed. This request wasn’t fulfilled by the search engine giant. It was also revealed by the firm that the website that was most affected was the largest social network of the world i.e. Facebook.com.
Apart from that Profileengine.com and YouTube.com were the other websites that had been considerably affected as well. An interesting thing to note is that Europeans have been given the right of not just objecting to the content of the articles, but more. For instance, it is possible that the article isn’t removed for the people who wrote it or were written about, but for those who commented on it. A representative of the search engine, Matt Kallman, said that it wasn’t an algorithm that was used for determining every request. Instead, a human evaluates them individually before choosing to grant or reject it.
The ECJ or European Court of Justice had ruled in May that links to irrelevant or outdated personal information should be removed by search engines when requested by a European citizen. This ruling had been brought as a result of a landmark case that had been brought against the company by a Spanish citizen who had complained of privacy infringement because of an auction notice about his repossessed home in the search results. The decision has been considered highly controversial because it can be used in a negative way as well.