Google Gets More Than 12,000 Privacy Requests
More than 12,000 people have asked Google to "erase" information from search results within hours of the service being launched. The requests came in at a rate of up to 20 per minute across Europe after the internet giant launched its online "right to be forgotten" form on Friday morning.
The flood of requests came after Google bowed to a European court ruling which upheld the right to have some personal information blocked by online search engines. The company introduced a mechanism for people to request the censorship of links to other internet sites which they believe contains outdated or damaging information.
Each request will see Google weigh the privacy rights of an individual against the public's right to know. The online request form asks for copies of the URL complained of, reasons the search results should be removed, and photo ID to prove an individual's identity.
Google chief executive Larry Page has warned the new privacy rules will make it hard for internet start-ups, and be exploited by repressive governments. He said, “It will be used by other governments that aren't as forward and progressive as Europe to do bad things. Other people are going to pile on, probably … for reasons most Europeans would find negative."
Next week, all of the EU states' data watchdogs are due to meet as part of the Article 29 Working Party on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data.