Want to be forgotten? That depends on who you are, what you’ve done, and whether or not you want the world to know about it.
In the case of European Union citizens, however, the right to be forgotten is just that – a right – and Google’s been forced to comply with something that it never wanted to do. The latest stats show that Google’s getting something around 1,000 requests a day, or 145,000 requests so far, from individuals who want to have incriminating, personal, or other published data removed from Google’s search engine.
As for more detailed numbers, Google has removed 200,000 of the 497,000 URLs (42%), 3,332 Facebook links, and 2,400 YouTube links, according to the search engine giant. While links are being removed in the EU and countries outside of it, keep in mind that these same links may appear on Google’s search engine in other countries.
The goal of the EU’s “right to be forgotten” law is that individuals living in the EU (and the businesses and citizens that surround them) wouldn’t have access to such information. It doesn’t prevent others from around the world from accessing the information that the EU or some other country doesn’t have. The Internet is called the “World Wide” Web for a reason.
While Google has removed links to a doctor’s past incriminating arrest record, and links that mentioned the name of a woman whose husband was killed in Italy, the search engine giant has also gone on the offensive with some individuals.
Requests including that of a UK preacher who wanted his sexual abuse cases removed, as well as that of financial and media professionals who wanted past misconduct and charges erased as well as past poor content deleted, have all been rejected so far.
It turns out that the right to be forgotten may not be a right for everyone after all.