France biggest user of ‘right to be forgotten’ Google EU ruling

1 Aug 2014

Google has released the first figures to show which countries have been busy wanting us to ‘forget’, with France being the source of more than 17,500 ‘right to be forgotten’ requests.

The internet search giant is continuing its push towards transparency since the revelations of the US electronic surveillance PRISM programme became apparent and that the US National Security Agency had been using companies such as Google to find information about its users.

Google has since issued a letter detailing a number of policies in its European operations.

The company sent the letter to a range of European data-protection agencies, according to The Verge, which had requested Google’s co-operation in explaining how it is reacting to users’ requests to remove their data, up until 18 July last month.

Along with France topping the most user requests for the removal of 58,000 URLs, Google’s findings also show Germany and the UK were the two next largest requesters, coming in at 16,500 (57,000 URLs) and 12,000 (44,000 URLs), respectively.

Google has also confirmed in the letter that the majority of requests made by individuals are granted, albeit a small majority of 53pc, while the company rejected 32pc. In 15pc of requests, Google asked for more information from the requester prior to making a formal decision.

Google asked that those included in this 15pc provide at least some relevant information so as to replace the link and not leave a dead link.

“An example would be a request to remove an old article about a person being convicted of a number of crimes in their teenage years, which omits that the old article has its relevance renewed due to a recent article about that person being convicted for similar crimes as an adult.”

Delete button image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic