Google under fire regulators on EU privacy ruling
Source: View: 255 Date: 2014-07-25

Google’s handling of "right to be forgotten" requests  European citizens came under fire by regulators after the search engine company restricted the removal of Internet links to European sites only, a person familiar with the matter said.

Regulators quizzed Google over its decision to remove search results only its European search engines such as, which means that anyone can easily access the same information by switching to the widely used, said the source, who was present at the meeting.

The European ’s top court in May ruled that people have a right to request that years-old personal information that is no longer relevant be removed Internet search results.

Google has so far approved more than half of roughly 90,000 incoming requests, sought additional information in about 15 per cent of cases, and rejected around 30 per cent of them, according to a source close to the company.

European data protection authorities on Thursday met executives Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, which operates the Bing search engine, to discuss the implementation of the landmark ruling.

The search engine operators were also asked to provide more information by the end of the month on their implementation of the ruling, the source said.

The information will then feed into a set of guidelines to be drafted by regulators to help them deal with complaints citizens over a search engine’s refusal to remove a link.

A draft set of guidelines could be ready by mid-September, the source said. Google declined to comment on the details of the meeting.

Given that Google has already received over 90,000 requests, EU regulators are keen to ensure they adopt a coherent approach that fits in with the 28 different data protection regimes in place across the bloc.

Complaints people whose requests have been refused by Google have begun to trickle in. The British privacy regulator had received 23 complaints by Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman said, while complaints to the French and Italian authorities were still in single figures.

Privacy regulators can take Google to court if it refuses to meet their demands, as happened in Spain the "right to be forgotten" ruling originated.

Privacy experts say Google’s removal of results only European domains effectively defeats the purpose of the ruling.

"Google has claimed that the decision is restricted to localised versions of Google," said Ashley Hurst, a partner at Olswang, a law firm. "There appears to be no basis for that claim at all."


Devott Publications
The Selection of the TOP Global Outsourcing Destinations – China TOP 15 (TGOD China TOP 15) Ended and Its Rankings and Research Reports are Now Available Worldwide