Google hounded by EU-based takedown demands

Posted by: Jennifer Cefai (2 years, 5 months ago)

A recent landmark EU ruling against Google has seen the company getting swamped with takedown requests, this based on the recently enforced "right to be forgotten." Google as of yet has declined to comment on how many applications it has received so far, although it is reported that hundreds of people across Europe have already made claims. While Google already automatically removes millions of links per month from its indexes, usually based on copyright claims, this ruling means that each case will have to be considered individually. 

A Google rep said: "The ruling has significant implications for how we handle takedown requests. This is logistically complicated not least because of the many languages involved and the need for careful review. As soon as we have thought through exactly how this will work, which may take several weeks, we will let our users know."

The ruling has divided internet advocates into two camps. While some have applauded the EU for protecting the privacy of individual users, others have questioned its impact on freedom of speech. The ruling specifies that any information must be "irrelevant or outdated" but anti-censorship bodies have argued that Google does not choose what appears in its results more than show what is freely available on the internet.

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