Right to Be Forgotten: Google Refreshes Stats

Google got hit hard this year with “Right to Be Forgotten” requests from European countries. Last week, Google updated its Transparency Report to reflect updated data on the requests and actions taken.

Thus far, Google has received 146,938 requests and has removed a total of 498,830 URLs.

The graph below shows the URLs it has removed, versus those it has not.

url-graph

Google also provided 15 examples of the types of requests it receives from individuals as well as the action taken based on the request. Below are some excerpts:

Country: Switzerland

“A financial professional asked us to remove more than 10 links to pages reporting on his arrest and conviction for financial crimes. We did not remove the pages from search results.”

Country: Germany

“A victim of rape asked us to remove a link to a newspaper article about the crime. The page has been removed from search results for the individual’s name.”

Country: United Kingdom

“A media professional requested that we remove four links to articles reporting on embarrassing content he posted to the Internet. We did not remove the pages from search results.”

Country: Italy

“We received a request from a crime victim to remove three links that discuss the crime, which occurred decades ago. The pages have been removed from search results for her name.”

For the most part, Google’s decision to remove or not remove URLs has taken on a pretty consistent theme. If someone has broken the law or harmed others in one way or another, Google is not removing the links. If someone was the victim of a crime or had private information leaked, it is more likely to remove the URL.

Which Sites Have Been Most Impacted?

Google provided a list of the sites that have had the most URLs removed as well as the number of URLs that have been taken down.

Google’s response to a questionnaire from the Article 29 Working Party in August provided a great deal of transparency and insight into what it is taking into consideration when choosing to remove or not remove URLs.

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