Google is now omitting search results under European data protection lawBy Justin Kahn
A couple months back, The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that Europeans have the right to be forgotten online and forced Google to offer a system in which people could make requests. Following that, Google began taking those requests and now The Wall Street Journal reports that content started getting removed earlier today.
Those interested can simply fill out the Google removal form, and if the company deems the request appropriate it will then notify that individual regarding the change. The company has previously said that it will only be accepting requests that are personal in nature and it has the right to deny certain requests that go against public interest.
For those that may have something from their past they want to disappear, the right to be forgotten system works, but not entirely. Google has decided to make it very apparent when it has omitted results from searches.
You'll find an easily noticeable message, similar to the copyright messages you may already be seeing, listed at the bottom of the usual Google search results when information on someone has been removed. While the transparency will be appreciated by some, in some ways it defeats the purpose of allowing individuals to be forgotten in the first place. Not only is there a giant red flag posted at the bottom of search results by Google, but it also shows that there is information to be had by simply using another search engine.
At last count, Google had received more than 41,000 requests, so it could be suggested the company is actually moving rather quickly. The way in which the company gets through the requests and how many it actually decides to grant could be precedent setting among other companies and elsewhere outside of Europe. Among the first request granted was that of Mario Costeja González, who had been requesting a take down of a past debt issue since long before the system was put in place. You can see an example of what searching for an ommitted individual results in above and can hit the "Learn More" link seen in the image here.