Google has begun removing search links to content in Europe under the "right to be forgotten" ruling, that gives users the right to request removal of "outdated or irrelevant" results that turn up in the Internet searches for their own names.
Searches made on Google's services in Europe using peoples' names includes a section at the bottom with the phrase "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe", and a link to a page explaining the ruling by the European court of justice (ECJ) in May 2014. However, the ECJ ruling does not apply to searches made on the US-based service Google.com.
Google has refused to comment on how many peoples' search histories will be altered or how many web pages have been affected by the ruling. The company chief executive, Larry Page revealed in a recent interview that it had received thousands of requests for changes to search results within days of the new ECJ ruling.
The company has received more than 41,000 requests since the court's ruling in May. One of the first links that Google removed, was a 1998 newspaper advertisement that mentioned a long-resolved debt of Mario Costeja González. The complaint by Mr. Costeja González's in 2010 was among those that led to the ECJ's ruling about the 'right to be forgotten'.
The Internet giant has set up an online forum where people can request removal of links, and states that people can appeal to data protection authorities if they disagree with its decision. The company has hired dedicated 'removal teams' to assess each request.
"This week, we're starting to take action on the removals requests that we've received," a Google spokesman said. "This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually, and we're working as quickly as possible to get through the queue."
Source: The Guardian