EU Commissioner Forces Google to Comply with “The Right to Be Forgotten”Added: Saturday, June 7th, 2014
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The EU commissioner for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship claimed that it won’t be difficult for Google to enforce the European “right to be forgotten”, since the company manages to handle the millions of DMCA requests.
The EU commissioner pointed out that there are relatively little numbers of requests related to the “right to be forgotten”, while there are millions of requests to take down copyrighted content, and Google does manage to comply. The conclusion can be made that the company can handle the copyright question, and can therefore handle the takedown requests on personal data questions.
In the meantime, Google admitted that it had received 12,000 requests from individuals who wanted to remove their personal information from the search results in the very first day after the court ruling. As for DMCA notices, the company’s own figures reveal that it has received over 23 million of them in May alone, or 787,000 per day. The commissioner singled out three situations where such requests to be forgotten could be made. Individuals are granted the right to remove the information they handed themselves out to the search engines, the information which has been put online can also be taken offline again; and then information that the search engines put in a prominent position – provided it is inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive. This is exactly what the court ruling said.
The commissioner argued that although the “right to be forgotten” judgment was only handed down a few weeks ago, that decision had been taken back in 1995, when the EU law to protect individuals’ data was developed. The law was applied in all member states, but some American companies, who used the EU internal market as a goldmine, refused to apply European law in European territories.
One of the first applicants to have their data removed from Google search results is an engineer with a drink-driving conviction back in 2006. He lost his job a few years ago after this fact was discovered by a union representative googling him.
External experts brought in to advise the search giant on the ruling believe that current European data protection legislation is outdated. It originates from a time when there was a clear divide between online and offline, but now the world has become more complex, and the laws have to be reviewed with this in mind.
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