Google says time needed to 'forget' people

May 16, 2014
A person prepares to search the Internet using the Google search engine, on May 14, 2014, in Lille

Google said Friday it could take weeks to devise a way to comply with a European Court of Justice ruling that it honor requests to be "forgotten."

Word that the US Internet titan is grappling with how to implement the judicial order came as it fielded requests from people who want links to deeds or critics deleted from .

Google did not disclose details about requests, but online reports indicated they include a pedophile and a politician who want references to their pasts to vanish.

The EU's top court ruled Tuesday that individuals have the right to ask the US Internet giant to delete and "be forgotten" online under certain circumstances when their personal data becomes outdated or inaccurate.

The decision has raised concerns about online censorship and how Internet search works in various countries.

Complicating factors include varying languages and the need to review requests to determine when online posts targeted for removal are actually in the public interest.

Google said it could take "several weeks" to work out a system to comply with the ruling.

Analysts said the global impact of the ruling was not immediately clear, but that it could raise some tricky issues in Europe and beyond.

Worries also arose that letting people edit their online histories could hamper investigative journalism.

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User comments : 2

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24volts
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2014
That would be an interesting programming challenge. They could delete the links but their web spiders would just find them again and recreate them. They would have to use some sort of system type blacklist or something like that.
alfie_null
not rated yet May 17, 2014
Every time some search engine has to engage in censorship, it lessens its value to its users. Will we users at least know who has requested to be bowdlerized?

This action suggests an opportunity for some off-shore entrepreneur, not subject to EU laws.

I empathize with people who have bona fide incorrect information about them on line, but this isn't going to fix things. Agile technology vs. plodding legal process? No brainer.

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