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Google Limits Right to Be Forgotten to Europe

Google recently announced that it will be limiting right to be forgotten requests to the European part of the search engine for the moment. The company has offered users the ability to file requests to have certain results hidden from the SERPS since the European Court of Justice ordered that it should do so.

The right to be forgotten feature was implemented reluctantly, and Google has attempted to have the ruling revisited on several occasions. It has now said that it hopes to keep the right to be forgotten feature as local as possible. Google’s Chief Legal Office, David Drummond, said that the system already goes as far as it really needs to. He noted that they have kept a basic approach to the system and followed that approach consistently – making removals Europe-wide, but not going any further than that. He explained that the company has a strong view that there should be a way to limit the concept, and noted that it is simply a European law, not a law elsewhere.

Google is not the only company that has an opinion on the issue of broadening the right to be forgotten. Tim Berners Lee has already spoken out to give his thoughts on the matter. However, Drummond was quick to state that Google has no plans to act right now, but rather that they will wait until they are told that they must expand the feature.
The European Article 29 Working Party has said that they feel that the right to be forgotten should apply to .com and other domains to ensure that it has a full impact and many SEO services in the UK agree. By limiting de-listing to only European domains under the assumption that end users will usually access the search engine via their own national domain, the service is not offering sufficient guarantee regarding the protection of the data rights of European subjects. De-listings should take effect across all domains to ensure that the ruling is not easily circumvented, otherwise Europeans can simply access all the data, including forgotten data, simply by typing in a different domain name.

This is not the first dispute that Google has had with lawmakers. The search giant has come under attack for predictive search issues and privacy policy concerns on several occasions as well as facing issues regarding fair competition, especially with regard to product and video search features.


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