Google releases “Right to be Forgotten” transparency report

Nate Swanner - Oct 10, 2014, 6:40 pm CDT
Google releases “Right to be Forgotten” transparency report

When Google was made to start accepting and acknowledging URL takedown requests in Europe — the famed “Right to be Forgotten” issue — they were almost immediately inundated with more than they could handle. In the first day alone, Google received over 12,000 requests from netizens, and it doesn’t look to have slowed down much. Yesterday, Google released info about those takedown requests, and the metrics are staggering. In the short time it’s been available, Google has seen over half a million takedown submissions.

The “Right to be Forgotten” tool allows those in the European Union the right to ask Google to take URLs that may have incendiary, misleading, or downright false info about them and remove them from Google’s search query results. Some info is dated, which is what prompted this in the first place.

A user in Spain politely asked Google to remove a link to old (and resolved) info about their financial problems, and Google resisted. The user fought back in court, and won.

Of those 500,000 or so URLs, based on 144,954 requests, Google has removed 170,706 URLs. Another 237,736 are still up, giving a 41.8% success rate so far. France has the most requests, followed by the notoriously private Germany. Great Britain, Spain, and Italy round out the top five.

The site most affected by the URL takedown is Facebook, which has had 3,332 URLs slipped from Google Search. The site, which is a “social network search engine” was second with 3,289 results removed, and YouTube was third with 2,392 URLs gone missing in Google Search in Europe.
Source: Google

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