Google starts removing links on request

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Google starts removing links on request

Google said it's started to remove links from its search results following an EU ruling upholding the so-called "right to be forgotten".

Last month, the EU upheld a rule allowing people to request to be "forgotten" by tech firms. In Google's case, that means removing links to websites that are deemed out of date or no longer relevant.

In response, Google set up an online form to collect such requests after the ruling, and has received tens of thousands so far, so it may be some time before they're all processed.

"This week we're starting to take action on removals requests that we've received," a Google spokesman said told Reuters. "This is a new process for us. Each request has to be assessed individually and we're working as quickly as possible to get through the queue."

Google had originally planned to show a message at the bottom of any edited results, saying links had been removed and pointing to the Chilling Effects website for details on the missing information.

That's similar to what Google shows for links taken down for copyright reasons, but The Independent reports that the EU thought it drew too much attention to removed links, contrary to the spirit of the ruling.

Instead, Google is showing a general message at the bottom of certain results - it appears to be names. The message says: "Some results may have been removed under data protection law in Europe". It links to a page detailing the EU ruling.

How to remove a link

It's simple to ask for a link removal from Google - though it's not yet clear how tough it will be assessing requests.

To request a link be removed, fill out Google's web form; you'll need the URL, a reason why it should be removed, and a scan or photo of a piece of ID.

This article originally appeared at pcpro.co.uk

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