Skip to main content

Google consents to over half of link removal requests, is criticised by EU over implementation

Google has dropped over half of the links which have been requested for removal under the "right to be forgotten" ruling, and meanwhile, it has copped flak from the EU over its handling of those removals.

In total, Google received just over 90,000 requests to be forgotten and stripped from its search engine in the EU as of last week, and it has given the green light to more than half of these. The search engine only turned down 30 per cent of folks asking for removal, and in around 15 per cent of cases it asked for more details in order to make a decision.

So, with a bit of quick maths, that's three weeks the scheme has been going (roughly), with around 50,000 link removals approved, so that's around 16,500 per week or 2,300 per day on average. In other words, Google's online form for removal requests is unsurprisingly popular following its launch.

The EU isn't particularly happy with Google, though, in terms of the way it's handling the removals. As Reuters reports, Google is only stripping links from European sites (such as as opposed to, so anyone who really wants to see some juicy details which have been removed can just switch to use

Reuters apparently spoke to a source who attended a meeting yesterday between EU data protection bigwigs and all the big search engines (Google, Yahoo and Bing – the latter has also implemented its own "right to be forgotten" form).

The meeting was called to discuss exactly how these link removals are implemented, with the search engines being asked to give further details on the exact execution before the end of the month. EU data protection authorities are planning to draw up guidelines on the matter, a draft version of which should pop up this autumn.

Complaints from those who have been refused their requests have already started to trickle in, apparently.

The "right to be forgotten" affair kicked off back in mid-May, when a Spanish man noticed that Google search results of his name brought up newspaper articles about the repossession of his house back in the 1990s. He argued that this was "irrelevant" old news, and that Google should remove those links from being publicly viewable in its results because they infringed his privacy rights – an argument the EU court agreed with.