Google to Expand ‘Right to be Forgotten’ to Global Search Pages

Posted by at 4:43 pm on February 11, 2016

GoogleGoogle is going to address the concerns of European regulators about its compliance with an EU ruling over the “Right to be Forgotten,” by extending it to other search pages. Google has confirmed it will start removing specific search results requested by EU citizens from all of its regional searches around the world, but only if the searches are started by people physically located within the European Union itself.

Following the ruling in 2014, which allowed citizens wanting to keep their private information hidden from view by requesting specific URLs to be hidden in searches for their name, Google has followed orders to put in a system to do just that. Previously, it would only apply to searches on regional versions of Google covering parts of Europe, not other non-European regions and not the mainĀ Google.com results. According to Reuters, Google will now perform the same search result filtering for all search sites when it detects the querying computer or device is based in Europe, leaving other users unaffected by the restrictions.

Google has consistently resisted implementing it on a global basis, despite claims by regulators that it needed to apply for all sites, since someone from the UK could easily use Google’s US search to get around filters. The regulatory complains hit a peak in September, with the French government’s data protection agency rejecting the search company’s appeal and threatening fines starting from around $300,000, rising up to five percent of global operating costs.

Reuters reports all EU data protection authorities have been advised of the changes, with regulatory representatives suggesting it addresses one of the major concerns of Google’s implementation.

Since the original ruling, Google has so far dealt with over 386,000 removal requests, but it has only accepted approximately 42 percent, rejecting the rest for being against the public interest.

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