Google Launches Online Forum For Takedown Of Search Engine Requests

Google has launched an online forum allowing European residents to request link removals from search results that contain their name and when content is considered outdated, inappropriate or irrelevant.

The move was made after the May 13 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union that found users can ask search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo to remove results for queries under certain conditions when the information is about themselves.

Those requesting takedowns need to submit the request on a Web page that Google introduced late Thursday. Reports also suggest that Google created an advisory committee headed by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt, and Google Chief Legal Officer and SVP David Drummond to review difficult requests and ethical issues.

When evaluating requests, Google will look at whether the results include outdated information about the person, as well as whether there is a public interest like information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

Attempting to balance individual privacy rights with the public's right to know and distribute information will not come easy, especially with Google's focus on transparency. The Sacramento Bee, for instance, updates a database with information about all state workers. Why is it important that I know Angela Hicklin, administrative assistant for the California Transportation Commission, made nearly $64,000 in 2012, or that Douglas Remedies, Office Technician at the California Transportation Commission, brought home a little more than $26,000 in 2013?

When evaluating requests, Google will look at whether the results include outdated information about the person, as well as whether there's a public interest like information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

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