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Drummond says that Europe's recent "Right To Be Forgotten" (RTBF) ruling, which allows a member of the public to request the removal of search results containing their name, is so "vague and subjective" that it's hard to enforce consistently. He adds that Google has received so many requests -- 70,000 so far, concerning 250,000 different web pages, all of which must be assessed individually -- that the company has been struggling to cope. He says the process is still very much a "work in progress" that will lead to "difficult and debatable judgments," as well as to errors.
Of course, only two months in, our process is still very much a work in progress. It’s why we incorrectly removed links to some articles last week (they have since been reinstated). But the good news is that the ongoing, active debate that’s happening will inform the development of our principles, policies and practices—in particular about how to balance one person’s right to privacy with another’s right to know.
That’s why we've also set up an advisory council of experts, the final membership of which we're announcing today. These external experts from the worlds of academia, the media, data protection, civil society and the tech sector are serving as independent advisors to Google. The council will be asking for evidence and recommendations from different groups, and will hold public meetings this autumn across Europe to examine these issues more deeply. Its public report will include recommendations for particularly difficult removal requests (like criminal convictions); thoughts on the implications of the court’s decision for European Internet users, news publishers, search engines and others; and procedural steps that could improve accountability and transparency for websites and citizens.
when politicians get involved it's not always fully thought through
By Question 3, the referring court asks, in essence, whether Article 12(b) and subparagraph (a) of the first paragraph of Article 14 of Directive 95/46 are to be interpreted as enabling the data subject to require the operator of a search engine to remove from the list of results displayed following a search made on the basis of his name links to web pages published lawfully by third parties and containing true information relating to him, on the ground that that information may be prejudicial to him or that he wishes it to be ‘forgotten’ after a certain time.
Google Spain, Google Inc., the Greek, Austrian and Polish Governments and the Commission consider that this question should be answered in the negative.
I'm sorry, but I have no pity for Google.
People in the EU only have to click the link to google.com to get uncensored results.
Has that been verified?
For starters, the disavows are often because of the small business owners own greedy link buying schemes and nobody's fault but their own.
freedom of people that dont want to be mentioned on google
freedom of webmasters to mention anyone they want to
People do have a right not to be found, it's called keeping out of trouble in the first place.
Both these freedoms can and should be respected
Being "mentioned" in Google actually means being indexed, Samizdata.
Guess they're going to have to start bucking up and hire real humans to do the job
one own's content
you can prevent Google from showing it in the SERPS
We regret to let you know that we can no longer view certain European versions of Google searches in the following pages on your website:
For more information, visit
One of the pages does not exists and returns a proper 404 page.
The ruling applies to all commercial search engines operating in the EU. The censorship affects users and webmasters who live there.