GOOGLE has begun accepting requests from individuals looking to purge links to unflattering articles and web pages from search results, following a landmark ruling by the EU’s highest court.
The demands can be submitted on a section of Google’s website launched in response to a ruling issued by The Court of Justice of the European Union two weeks ago. The Court ruled that individuals should be entitled to ask for ‘outdated’ information to be removed from searches.
The online form allows users to submit individual URLs to be removed from search results, and to give reasons as to why material should be omitted from searches.
In the preamble to the online form, Google warn: “When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.
Google’s compliance with the ruling thrusts the company into the prickly position of having to balance privacy concerns and “the right to be forgotten” against the principles of free expression and “the right to know”.