Google May Show A Right To Be Forgotten Removal Notice Without Removal Requests

Jun 30, 2014 • 8:10 am | comments (2) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine

Google's Right To Be ForgottenLast week, Google began removing right to be forgotten requests from the EU search results page. Yea, it was quick.

But some of those removals were done for names not submitting the request via RTBF form (RTBF = Right To Be Forgotten).

Willem van Lynden said on Google+ that several of his friends and co-workers have noticed the removal notice come up for their names but they never submitted the request. Here is one example:

A search for [diederik van engelen] shows:


William said that Google is "definitively" showing "warnings for people (friends of mine) that have filed no requests at all." But why?

The Wall Street Journal somewhat alludes to it saying:

Google has appeared to bend to regulators' desire that the company refrain from indicating in search results when something had been removed. Google had earlier indicated it might highlight the removals, something it does when it removes links to pirated content. But EU regulators told Google in recent weeks that such a move would undermine the spirit of the decision by making it clear some individuals had wanted information about them suppressed, one regulator said.

Instead, Google on Thursday added a blanket notification that appears at the bottom of most results for individual name searches conducted on Google's European search websites, according to an explanation the company posted to its website. The notification - "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe" - is added algorithmically to searches that appear to be for a name, a person familiar with the matter said.

One has to assume this will get clearer over time but right now, this is a bit unclear.

Forum discussion at Google+.

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