Guardian: More citizens request Google 'right to be forgotten'

Posted by Soledad Vega on Tue, 07/14/2015 - 10:22

Although there's a long way to go in the UK, this shows the government can and will respond to public pressure demanding individuals' privacy be respected.

Article by Julia Powles for The Guardian

Less than 5% of nearly 220,000 individual requests made to Google to selectively remove links to online information concern criminals, politicians and high-profile public figures, the Guardian has learned, with more than 95% of requests coming from everyday members of the public.

The Guardian has discovered new data hidden in source code on Google’s own transparency report that indicates the scale and flavour of the types of requests being dealt with by Google – information it has always refused to make public. The data covers more than three-quarters of all requests to date.

Previously, more emphasis has been placed on selective information concerning more sensational examples of so-called right to be forgotten requests released by Google and reported by some of the media, which have largely ignored the majority of requests made by citizens concerned with protecting their personal privacy. 

These include a woman whose name appeared in prominent news articles after her husband died, another seeking removal of her address, and an individual who contracted HIV a decade ago. 

The data, which has not been revealed publicly until now, was found during an analysis of archived versions of Google’s transparency report and details the numeric breakdown of each request and associated link by country and issue type. The underlying source code has since been updated to remove these details.

- Read more at The Guardian