21st Century Wire says…
What does the CJEU’s ruling on data protection in the Google Spain case mean for us?
While under certain circumstances one can see how some would want to remove ‘irrelevant’ or ‘inaccurate’ personal material as described in the ruling, we wonder how Google will comply with the new provision and will their response be balanced in retaining freedom of speech versus the freedom to remove data?
‘Right to be forgotten’: Google launches form to allow users to delete ‘inadequate’ data
Google has opened a service for European users to request deletion of their data from search engines if they consider their content irrelevant or outdated, a move that followed the ruling of the European court calling for the “right to be forgotten.”
“Certain users can ask search engines to remove results for queries that include their name where those results are inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed,” says the form on a Web page that Google opened late on Thursday for European users.
Google says that when evaluating users’ request, the company checks “whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information.” The later includes information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.
“In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information,” says the form on the website.
To remove their name, the user also needs to “provide the URL for each link appearing in a Google search for his name” and explain why this data is irrelevant or outdated. An individual must also submit a digital copy of an ID to verify that impersonators aren’t using the form.
Meanwhile, the internet giant didn’t say when exactly it would remove links that meet the criteria for being taken down, adding only that it is “working to finalize the implementation of removal requests … as soon as possible.”
The decision to allow users to have their data be erased follows the May-13 ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union, which said they have the right to make Google delete information about them from their search results.
According to Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, there were “many open questions”after the ruling which went too far in favor of privacy at the cost of the right to know.
“A simple way of understanding what happened here is that you have a collision between a right to be forgotten and a right to know. From Google’s perspective that’s a balance,” said Schmidt.“Google believes, having looked at the decision which is binding, that the balance that was struck was wrong.”
Google is currently launching a special advisory committee of senior Google executives and independent experts to establish some guidelines around the right to be forgotten.
Among the members of the group will be Schmidt and David Drummond, the company’s chief legal officer as well as Jimmy Wales, co-founder of online encyclopedia Wikipedia, Luciano Floridi, Oxford Internet Institute ethics professor and Frank La Rue, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression.