Google has received more than 281,000 requests to remove links under Europe-wide ‘right to be forgotten’ legislation, with those requests covering more than 1.1m links.
Of those links, some 602,000 were removed.
The French are the most prolific submitters of right to be forgotten requests, accounting for one-fifth of the total number. Only 52pc of French requests were submitted to, however.
British requests fared slightly better, with 63pc of the requested 138,576 links removed.
The removed links are no longer searchable on European Google results pages (google.ie, google.co.uk or google.fr, for example). They are still available on google.com, though this may change as activists strive to make the right to be forgotten ruling global.
The right to be forgotten allows members of the public – or corporations – to request that a piece of information that is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” no longer be searchable on Google.
The controversial legislation, brought into law in May 2014, was fought against by Google, under concerns that information important for the public to know could be expunged from the public sphere.
It’s important to note, however, that the information does not disappear altogether – it just becomes harder to find.
The figures above may allay some fears, as they indicate that the search giant does clearly have the power to reject certain requests.
Google search image, via Shutterstock