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Google Has Removed 100,000 Links, Approved More Than Half of ‘Right to be Forgotten’ Requests

google-eraserGoogle reportedly has removed “more than 100,000” links since the European Court of Justice (ECJ) “right to be forgotten” ruling came into effect in May.

The Wall Street Journal reported the figure, which comes just a day after Google, along with Microsoft and Yahoo, met with European data regulators to discuss the search engines’ handling of the ruling.

The report claims that Google has removed “the majority” of such requests, a number that could exceed the 100,000 mark.

Google has yet to confirm this number, but reportedly confirmed during yesterday’s meeting in Brussels that it has rejected just over 30 percent of the requests it has received, while the Wall Street Journal reported that the firm has approved “more than 50 percent” of the requests.

Requests so far have reportedly come from 91,000 individuals and cover over more than 328,000 URLs, the report noted, adding that not all requests so far have been processed.

Of these requests, 17,500 came from France, 16,500 from Germany and 12,000 from the UK. The source added that 8,000 requests came from Spain, 7,500 from Italy and a further 5,000 from the Netherlands.

While Google reportedly having removed more than 50 percent of links will likely ease regulators’ concerns, it probably will go down well with free-speech advocates.

Bob Satchwell, executive director of the UK Society of Editors wasn’t pleased.

“It you let this go without protest, then it will creep,” he told the WSJ. “This passion for privacy will creep into law across Europe and erode the freedom of speech.” 

Update: CNET reported “that as of July 18 [Google] received 91,000 requests involving more than 328,000 individual webpages since May. Earlier this month, on July 10, the company disclosed that it received more than 70,000 requests on 250,000 individual webpages since May.”

This article was originally published on the Inquirer.

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