Google By Mistake Reveals ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Request Data

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Google accidentally revealed the data on the “right to be forgotten” requests gathered from people, which includes both private and personal information. Actually, it was not Google but The Guardian which found the data from the source code on the firm’s own transparency report, which provides details on the data requests it gets.

Mostly private and personal requests

Data suggests that around 95% of Google’s privacy request flows from the general public who do not want to reveal their personal and private information plus the right to be forgotten requests from family members of the deceased asking for online information about that person to be deleted from the web. Less than 5% of the individual requests sent to Google came from criminals, politicians and top notch public figures.

A few of the requests include a woman requesting that her name appeared in prominent news articles after the death of her husband, while another asked the internet company to drop links to her address. Then there was a request from an individual who contracted HIV a decade ago.

Both the nature of requests and their conformity rate varies from nation to nation with France, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Cyprus demanding the removal of most of the private information requests, whereas in Italy, the second largest issue was serious crime-related requests.

Data spill may work against Google

In a statement, Google said, “We’ve always aimed to be as transparent as possible about our right to be forgotten decision.” The company said that the data found by The Guardian in the Transparency report source code is official but was a part of a test to conclude how best the company is able to categorize the requests. Further, the internet company said that the test was abandoned in March as the data was not “reliable enough for publication.” Google said it is vreating more ways to enhance transparency reporting.

European advocates will probably take the accidental spill of data as evidence in favor of their case. Dr. Paul Bernal, a lecturer in technology and media law at the University of East Anglia, told The Guardian that if a majority of the requests are private and personal ones, then it is a good law for individuals, suggesting there is a genuine need for such laws.

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About the Author

Aman Jain
Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com

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