EU Privacy Watchdogs Meet with Google Over "Right to be Forgotten" Requests
July 24, 2014 12:29 PM
Google's handling of the top court's ruling is up for discussion
Google is taking some heat from European data protection authorities today due to the way the search giant dealt with "right to be forgotten" requests in Europe.
, Google is meeting with European Union privacy watchdogs today in regards to the company's handling of a ruling from the top court. The ruling upheld the people's right to request that outdated links be removed from internet search results.
More specifically, European citizens were granted the right to ask search engines to remove links to information deemed inadequate, irrelevant or excessive from appearing in searches for their own name.
After the ruling, Google only removed results from its European search engines, such as google.co.uk. This is problematic because anyone can access the hidden information by switching to google.com, which defeats the whole purpose of the ruling.
Google is also under the microscope for its decision to notify the owners of the websites that have been removed from search results. EU privacy groups are concerned that the notification process could have a negative effect on people who make the requests.
For instance, links to an article by a well-known BBC journalist about an ex-Wall Street banker were removed as well as several links to stories in Britain's
newspaper. The authors of the stories then wrote about the removal and speculated about who requested the removal.
Google eventually put a few links to the
articles back on the internet.
Google seems to be in a
constant battle with the EU
. For the past couple of years, the search company was accused of boosting its own services and suppressing rivals. Google made proposals such as allowing competitors to display their logos and web links in a prominent box in search results, and also allowing content providers will be able to decide what material Google can use for its own services. Also, Google would make it easier for advertisers to promote on rival platforms such as Microsoft's Bing.
This is similar to the two-year investigation the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) launched against Google regarding its dominance on the Web.
Instead of paying fines
, the FTC made Google promise that it would stop scraping reviews and information from other websites, stop requesting sales bans when suing companies for patent infringement and allow advertisers to export data in order to evaluate advertising campaigns.
"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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