Consumer Watchdog Calls On Google To Extend ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ To U.S

Photo courtesy of MoneyBlogNewz

Photo courtesy of MoneyBlogNewz

By USDR 

A letter from the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group to Google CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, noted that successful implementation of the Right To Be Forgotten requires a balance between an individual’s privacy and the public’s right to know in making a decision to remove a link in a search engine result.

“I was heartened to see – based on Google’s own numbers – that you appear able to strike this balance in Europe and it does not appear to be an undue burden on your resources,” wrote John M. Simpson Consumer Watchdog Privacy Project Director. “Google is clearly making the Right To Be Forgotten work for its users in Europe, but that is because you must under the law. We call on you to voluntarily offer the same right to Google users in the United States.”

Read Consumer Watchdog’s letter here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrpagertbf101314.pdf

According to the Internet giant’s Transparency Report updated on Friday, Google has received a total of 146, 357 removal requests involving 498,737 URLs.  Google said it had completed processing 409,897 of those URLs, removing 171,183 or 41.8% and retaining 238,714 or 58.2%.  The largest number of removal requests – 29,140 – came from France.  Germany had 25, 206 and 18,846 originated in Great Britain.

Read Google’s Transparency Report here: https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/europeprivacy/?hl=en

In May the European Court of Justice ruled that a person has the right to request the removal of search engine links to information that is inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive. The removal isn’t automatic if requested. There needs to be a balance between the individual’s privacy and public’s right to know in making a decision to remove a link.

Examples from Google’s Transparency Report make clear how the Internet giant is implementing the Right To Be Forgotten and apparently striking the right balance, Consumer Watchdog said.

“As your examples clearly show, removal won’t always happen, but the balance you appear to have found between privacy and the public’s right to know demonstrates you can make the Right to Be Forgotten work,” wrote Simpson. “Americans deserve the same Right to Be Forgotten.  Indeed, with your repeated claims to care about privacy, you should be ashamed that Google is not treating people on both sides of the Atlantic the same way.”

SOURCE: Consumer Watchdog

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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