Google launches advisory council on ‘right to be forgotten’
The Internet giant has received over 70,000 content removal requests since the European Court of Justice ruled that any European citizen has the right to ask search engines to remove links to stories that include their name.
Google has received requests to remove everything from links mentioning criminal records, to embarrassing photos and negative press stories.
“For each of these requests, we’re required to weigh, on a case-by-case basis, an individual’s right to be forgotten with the public’s right to know,” reads the advisory council’s webpage.
“We want to strike this balance right. This obligation is a new and difficult challenge for us, and we’re seeking advice on the principles Google ought to apply when making decisions on individual cases.”
The council aims to gather input from European citizens, government bodies, businesses, members of the media, and those in the technology sector regarding the principals Google should apply while considering users’ requests.
The council will live stream its consultation of the ruling in the fall.
The newly formed council – whose members include ethics professors, lawyers, newspaper editors, politicians and Google CEO Eric Schmidt – also encourages users from across the globe to share their opinions on the right to be forgotten ruling.
Google is still working out the kinks when it comes to complying with the ruling.
And the task is by no means a small one – each application on average seeks the removal of almost four links, meaning its experts have to individually evaluate more than a quarter-million pages.
Google has also faced accusations of press censorship, after links to some of Europe’s biggest news outlets began disappearing.
“This is a new and evolving process for us,” said Google spokesman Al Verney. “We’ll continue to listen to feedback and will also work with data protection authorities and others as we comply with the ruling.”
– With a file from the Associated Press
© Shaw Media, 2014