Google received 12,000 takedown forms on the day it published its response to the European Court of Justice “right to be forgotten” ruling according to reports.
Reuters reports that the company received 12,000 requests in the first 24 hours the form was online, with requests at times coming in as fast as 20 per minute.
Last week, Google released a form letting users request information be removed from its search listings.
“In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information,” it said.
“When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information – for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”
“We’re in a tech-savvy world where people are increasingly aware of the digital footprints they leave behind”, says Danny Meadows-Klue, Commissioner for the regulation of digital direct marketing in the UK. “The role of privacy being in the hands of the consumer is well understood. Here in the UK people who want to opt-out of direct marketing register with groups like the Telephone Preference Service – run by the DMA. There are similar lists for fax The industry has been smart at putting in place self-regulatory frameworks – and now you’re seeing Google do the same. As regulators we’re watching this space closely, and this looks like responsible action by the big online players.”
View a sample of the form below:
The initial case was brought by a Spanish man who complained that an auction notice of his repossessed home, which appeared on Google’s search results, infringed his privacy.
The BBC reported that after the ruling the search giant initially received requests from an ex-politician seeking re-election has asked to have links to an article about his behaviour in office removed. A man convicted of possessing child abuse images has requested links to pages about his conviction to be wiped and a doctor wants negative reviews from patients removed from the results.
Other search engines, including Yahoo and Microsoft’s Bing, are also affected by the ECJ’s decision. Yahoo said it is in the process of developing a similar solution to Google’s form, and Microsoft said in a statement, “the courts and data protection authorities will strike the right balance between protecting privacy rights and the freedom of expression.”
View the form here