Bing and Yahoo Follow Google in ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Takedowns

Bing and Yahoo have begun compliance with European Right to Be Forgotten rules and have removed a series of search results.

The EU Court of Justice ruled in May that anyone had the right to have “inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant” data removed from search results.

Google complied almost immediately and has already had 174,000 requests to delete entries. Bing published its form in July and has so far received 699 requests.

The law, which has been roundly mocked for being draconian and unworkable, has caused many a ruffled feather since it came into effect.

Google was forced to redact its redaction of a number of links to U.K. publication The Guardian following a complaint from journalists.

Additionally most people have now worked out that all you have to do to view the missing links is look at google.com instead of a European version.

The number of people who actually use Bing and Yahoo is tiny compared with those who use Google.

Bing and Yahoo accounted for just more than 12 percent of searches in October between them, while Google had 67 percent, according to the latest figures from Net Applications.

In spite of this, all EU-based search engines are obliged to comply with the law.

A statement from Microsoft explained: “We’ve begun processing requests as a result of the court’s ruling and in accordance with the guidance from European data protection authorities.

“While we’re still refining that process, our goal is to strike a satisfactory balance between individual privacy interests and the public’s interest in free expression.”

Earlier this year, a pianist used the Right to Be Forgotten law to expunge a review of a concert which both he and the reviewer believed to be sub-par.

The move was described by The Washington Post as “a truly fascinating, troubling demonstration of how the [Right to Be Forgotten] ruling could work.”

Meanwhile, the EU continues to press search engines to spread their expunging to worldwide sites, not just European localized versions.

In Google’s case, each page shows a message warning that there are links that should be there and aren’t, so you know exactly when it’s time to switch to the .com version.

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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