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Google Will Alert Searchers About 'Right to Be Forgotten' Link Removals

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google-eraserGoogle plans to flag links that it censors due to Europe's recent "right to be forgotten" ruling.

Google plans to place an alert at the bottom of each page where it has removed links, after the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled last month that users can request that "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant" links be taken down, according to The Guardian.

It's unclear exactly how this will look, but the report claimed that Google might flag results similar to the way it does illegal content, such as copyright infringing material.

"For example, a Google search for 'Adele MP3' shows that it has removed a number of results from that page after receiving complaints under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act," The Guardian noted.

Jodie Ginsberg, chief executive of Index on Censorship, said that while flagging search results is all well and good, it does nothing to fix the legal issues surrounding the recent ECJ ruling.

"The fact that Google plans to add 'flags' to search links it has removed does nothing to tackle the fundamental problem with the 'right to be forgotten' ruling - which is the complete absence of legal oversight in this process," she said. "We remain deeply concerned about a ruling that opens the door to a censoring of the past without any proper checks and balances."

This isn't the only negative reaction the ECJ ruling has received. The Article 29 European watchdog admitted last week that it doesn't know yet how to handle complaints related to the ruling, with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) also admitting that it needs more time to figure it out.

Google chairman Eric Schmidt isn't pleased about it, either, slamming the "right to be forgotten" ruling as "wrong."

Google reportedly received 12,000 completed takedown forms on the day it published its response to the ECJ's "right to be forgotten" ruling, and as of last week had racked up a total of 41,000.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.


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