Google has received 12,000 requests from people seeking to be “forgotten” by the world’s leading search engine on the first day it offered the service, a company spokesman says.
Earlier in May the European Court of Justice ruled that individuals have the right to have links to information about them deleted from searches in certain circumstances, Grounds for removal include “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed”.Sadly, the service is only available to European citizens. If they are successful, the links will only be removed from European search findings.
Google has so far declined to indicate how quickly the links will be removed. The forms will be fielded by Google staff rather than software.But the results don’t disappear completely, as a message will be displayed with the findings to note the results have been modified to comply with legal requirements.Applicants must include an explanation of why the information should be removed and digital copies of photo identification.
The case was originally launched by a Spanish man who objected to old articles emerging from a Google search of his name.When Mario Costeja Gonzalez googled his name the search engine threw up 16-year-old articles about his home being repossessed, something he would rather have the world forget.
Google is setting up an advisory committee to guide the process.The group will include former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and Oxford Internet Institute ethics professor Luciano Floridi.