Google begins implementation of 'right to be forgotten' ruling with online takedown form

New form is the first step in allowing individuals to remove search results

Google has begun the process of complying with the EU’s recent “right to be forgotten” ruling, launching a new webform where European citizens can request the removal of search results.

The online form is applicable to search results (not the content itself) that individuals think contain information that is "irrelevant, outdated or otherwise inappropriate". 

Google says that since the ruling was announced they have received thousands of requests, with some of the first reported cases including a scandal-hit politician, a paedophile convicted of possessing images of child abuse and a doctor who wanted negative reviews of his practice removed.

Google has stressed that this process is entirely new for search engines and that they will have to work hard to strike a balance between allowing individuals control of their online presentation and ensuring that the system is not abused to remove stories in the public interest.

Google's new search removal request form as it appears on their website.

To this end it has created an expert advisory committee to develop its approach and navigate both the ethical and legal challenges of the ruling.

The committee will be co-chaired by Google’s chairman Eric Schmidt and its chief legal counsel David Drummond. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and the UN’s special rapporteur on freedom of expression Frank La Rue will also sit on the board.

“The court’s ruling requires Google to make difficult judgments about an individual’s right to be forgotten and the public’s right to know,” said a Google spokesperson.

“We’re creating an expert advisory committee to take a thorough look at these issues. We’ll also be working with data protection authorities and others as we implement this ruling.”

Requests submitted through the newly-launched form will be considered on a case by case basis with individuals requested to include a copy of official identification such as a local driver’s licence. Requests can also be submitted on behalf of the individual by an attorney or other representative.

Number 17: The Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page shares his ranking with his colleague Sergey Brin Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page admitted the company needs to be more 'European' in its outlook.

Google’s chief executive officer Larry Page said in an interview with the Financial Times that the company had been caught off guard by the level of mistrust in Europe over technology companies’ increasing oversight regarding individuals’ personal data.

“I wish we’d been more involved in a real debate […] in Europe,” said Mr Page. “That’s one of the things we’ve taken from this, that we’re starting the process of really going and talking to people.”

Mr Page acknowledged that this was a new approach for the company, and that while Google has previously taken a strong stance on issues of privacy and information access, it will now try “to be more European and think about it maybe more from a European context”.

Since the ECJ ruling was announced scholars, politicians and journalists have been divided on whether it marks a victory for individuals’ right to privacy or a catastrophic setback for freedom of expression and public access to information.

Some have pointed out that reactions to the ruling are split broadly upon transatlantic lines, with American commentators more likely to categorise the “right to be forgotten” as a ‘blow against free speech’ while European counterparts are more likely to view it as a practical tool that helps ordinary individuals control the information circulated about them.

election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

    Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

    Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

    Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

    Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
    Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

    Crisp sales are in decline

    As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

    Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

    Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
    Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

    Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'