Google ordered to remove links about removing links

A UK Data Protection agency has ordered Google to remove links in search engine result pages to stories referencing older reports of links they had to remove under the “right to be forgotten” ruling.

Confused? Let’s break this down.

044_046_data+protection_right+to+be+forgottonGoogle previously linked to articles about one individual’s decade old criminal offences. They had been asked to remove links to these articles under the “right to be forgotten” ruling. So Google removed the links from their results.

But, this prompted new posts online about removing these links, and therefore they were displayed yet again in Google’s search engine results.

Why? Well, Google alerted various news outlets to the links they had removed from their sites through its Webmaster tools.

The news agencies then decided to post online about which links had been removed from their sites, and the links then ended up back in search engine results. Both the BBC and the Telegraph had reposted these links.

Google then refused to remove this second lot of links, claiming it is in the interest of the public for these to stay online.info graphic

What is the “right to be forgotten” ruling anyway?

Under this ruling, Europeans are able to apply to have outdated information about them removed from search engine results.

And considering Google has 90% of the search market share in Europe, they really are the guys to target if you want something removed from search results.

There really is no control over what shows up the Internet. Even if you didn’t have a decade old criminal offence, you would still want certain unflattering content about you removed if it ever ended up online.

The content may be manipulated, misconstrued, or be an unfair representation of your character. It could affect your relationships, employment and your reputation. The “right to be forgotten” is used to manage this, as well as to preserve your dignity and right to privacy.

The European union has instructed Google to extend this ruling to outside of Europe.

Google now has until the 22nd of September to re-remove these links, although they do have the right to appeal.

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