Google has faced objections from European privacy regulators regarding its implementation of the landmark EU right to be forgotten ruling. Therefore, to soothe them, it has decided to scrub search results across all its websites when accessed from a European country, says a report from Reuters.
Citing a person close to the company, the report said that the Internet giant has decided to address the concerns of European authorities. To do so, it will soon delete search results across all its websites when someone does a search from the country where the removal request originated
For instance, if Google gets a request from a German resident to de-list a link that pops up under searches for his or her name, then no version of Google’s website will show that link, including Google.com, when the search engine is accessed from Germany. Filtering search results will depend on the user’s IP address, suggesting it will not affect people accessing the search engine from outside Europe.
Google has issued notifications to all EU data protection authorities of the upcoming changes, the report said. The proposed changes appear to address the concerns Britain’s data protection watchdog had previously expressed in the scope of the requirement to de-list, said a spokeswoman for Britain’s data protection watchdog.
Google softening its stance
In May 2014, the European Court of Justice ruled that people could ask search engines such as Google and Microsoft’s Bing to remove information about them that is inadequate or irrelevant. In September, the U.S. firm received a threat from the French data protection authority that it would impose a fine on it if it did not scrub search results globally across all its websites.
However, Google has been refusing to fully comply with it and remained adamant to clean up only those search results that exist on European domains such as Google.fr or Google.de. It said that if it did otherwise, it would have a chilling effect on the free flow of information. But now the company seems to be softening its stance.
On its transparency website, the Internet firm has mentioned that since the ruling in 2014, it has received 386,038 removal requests it accepted 42% of them.