What to Remember About 'The Right to be Forgotten'

The EU recently ruled against Google on the 'Right to be Forgotten' but is there trouble on the horizon or is this just a storm in a teacup?

Internet regulation. A minefield if ever there was one.

The fallout from the EU ruling against Google on the so called ‘right to be forgotten’ has proven that this remains a hugely emotive topic. And so it should be, given the prominence of the web in our modern lives.

This latest round of debate has been sparked by a European Union court ruling in favour of a Spanish man who claimed his privacy had been infringed when a notice of his home being repossessed was indexed by the search engine.

Google has now placed a form online through which requests for ‘inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant’ pages to be removed from search results can be submitted. Reportedly, more than 12,000 forms were submitted on day one, with requests now believed to total over 50,000.

Interestingly, this information will only be removed from search results delivered by Google’s European sites. It will still be indexed by all others, including Google.com, where the First Amendment to the US Constitution, guaranteeing free speech, means this kind of ruling would not be possible.

Where results have been altered, Google plans to alert users with a notice at the bottom of the page, similar to what can be seen if you search ‘The Beatles MP3’.