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Google receives 2.4m requests to delete search results

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 by Helge

trashGoogle received 2.4 million requests since 2014 to delete search-engine results under Europe’s “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) rules. European Union citizens currently have the right to ask search engines to remove results that include their names following a landmark decision from the European Court of Justice in 2014. The search giant released an updated version of its annual Transparency Report, which discloses how many and what kind of requests Google has received to delist pages from results and in how many instances the company complied.

According to the report, it looks like the company is being asked to remove plenty of content. From 2014-2017, it received more then 2.4 million requests. About a third of the takedown requests came from individuals who wanted personal information like directories or social media histories deleted from the web. Another 20% came from individuals who requested to delete their legal history (i.e., being mentioned in crime reports or on government pages).

The other big search engine, Bing, updated it’s RTBF policy already in 2016. Bing removed material from its country-specific versions, such as Bing.fr for France, or Bing.co.uk for the United Kingdom. However, people in those countries who went to Bing.com would still find Right to be Forgotten material. According to the announcement, Bing’s updated RTBF policy for the EU and will use location-based signals to remove relevant URLs on ALL versions of Bing.

How can you request the  removal of content indexed on Google Search based on data protection law in Europe? The search engine Google provides this URL for that purpose:

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/legal-removal-request?complaint_type=rtbf

Bing provides this URL to remove content:

https://www.bing.com/webmaster/tools/eu-privacy-request

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