Microsoft Follows Google Inc In Offering ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

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Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has followed Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s footsteps regarding ‘right to be forgotten requests from users following the European court order. Just like Google, Microsoft too offers users to put forward their requests in a newly opened form that they can download. The users will be able to make requests that Bing does not show any links to certain web pages that are related to the search made on their names. The move was officially announced by Microsoft last week.

Microsoft form is more detailed than Google

Microsoft will analyze the requests from various different aspects, which are more in number than those used by Google. The decision for honoring any request for link removal will be based on multiple data points, which are considered to play a very vital role.

Microsoft says on the form it will “consider the balance between your individual privacy interest and the public interest in protecting free expression and the free availability of information, consistent with European law. As a result, making a request does not guarantee that a particular search result will be blocked.”

The citizens of Europe were allowed the ‘Right to be forgotten’ after the ruling came from European Court of Justice at the start of the year. It stated that if any European citizen is not comfortable with any kind of information available on the internet for multiple reasons including the information being outdated, irrelevant or excessive. In such case, the law allows users to get the particular links removed from the search results of various search engines.

Microsoft to receive fewer requests

In May, Google started accepting the requests and till date has received 70,000 such requests. The first batch of links was removed from the search results by Google last month, and few of them were restored shortly. The data protection authorities have not provided the search engines any guidance as to how to differentiate between legitimate and illegitimate requests, and hence they will have to use their own judgments for doing so.

The European search market is dominated by Google with as high as 90% of the market share and the remaining 10% with few small players of which Bing is one having a single-digit share of the market. Hence, the volume of ‘right to be forgotten’ requests is bound to be way less than those received by Google.

So, far Microsoft has been silent on the ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling while Google has repeatedly questioned the law.

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