In just one day, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has received requests from 12,000 Europeans who want the search engine to forget some links related to them, according to a report from Agence-France Presse, citing a Google official. On Friday, Google offered the “right to be forgotten” form to European citizens. Regulators there ruled that users should be able to give their reasons why the link is outdated or inappropriate. Google will delete the links from its search results if it approves users’ requests.
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) also operates its search engine in Europe and said that it is “carefully reviewing” the court ruling to analyze the effect on its business and users. Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has declined to comment on the rulings.
Negative image of Google in Europe
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has acknowledged that it is suffering from having a negative image in the European Union. Google CEO Larry Page said that he would like to have more of a real debate in Europe in his remarks published in the Financial Times on Friday.
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“That’s one of the things we’ve taken from this, that we’re starting the process of really going and talking to people.”
Kevin Hauzeur from the Belgian Pirate Party said that the measures are not enough.
“Firstly, the Internet user may feel tricked because Google asks for a photo ID card to validate the request, which is a problem with regards to privacy rights,” Hauzeur said, and added that users will have to do same thing over and again with other websites and search engines. Also, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has said that it will not take the decision on the requests, but the regulatory bodies will.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) will be the one to decide whether it wants to honor the requests of each user or not, but in the case of any refusal, national data protection agencies will look into the matter. There will be 28 different agencies across the EU.