Google’s “right to be forgotten” service is wildly popular. The Europe-only option, which comes after a judgement based on one person’s desire to have information about his stricken from Google’s search results, has drawn 12,000 requests. The tool has been available for less than one day.
The service is meant for any false, outdated or irrelevant information pulled from Google’s search results. Though the offending web page won’t show up in search, it still exists — Google can’t take a web page down.
Google says it will force them to make “difficult choices” about what gets pulled and what stays in their search engine. Advocates of he ruling feel Google shouldn’t be asked to decide what is and isn’t relevant, likening it to censorship. Proponents argue that it protects people who are victims of slander, or have dated information about hardships dogging them.
In the case which brought on the judgement against Google, a Spanish man asked that Google pull a webpage discussing his now-settled tax issues from their search. Google refused, leading them down a long road to 12,000 more problems just like it.
It’s not yet known how many of those 12,000 will meet Google’s criteria. It’s also not clear how long it will take Google to respond to those requests, or if certain requests are fast-tracked. It does show that privacy remains a core value, at least in Europe.