Google has revealed that it has dealt with approximately half of the Right to be Forgotten requests that have come its way, however it still faces criticism from regulators.
The firm revealed its figures at a formal meeting with European regulators. It said, of 90,000 or more requests that have been posted, it has complied with around half.
According to a report on Reuters, the regulators asked Google what it expects to achieve by removing links on European sites, but not others, such as Google.com. It was suggested that this simple workaround makes the removals pointless.
Google declined to comment on the meeting or the criticisms to V3, but it did confirm that it has received 91,000 requests in Europe, involving more than 328,000 URLs. Reuters added that around a third of requests have been dismissed.
Speaking on Radio 5 Live, UK Information Commissioner Christopher Graham repeated concerns that the European Court of Justice ruling will be a difficult thing to abide by.
"Google is a massive commercial organisation making millions and millions out of processing people's personal information. They're going to have to do some tidying up,” he said. "All this talk about rewriting history and airbrushing embarrassing bits from your past – this is nonsense, that's not going to happen."
Google, Microsoft and other search engine providers met with the European Article 29 Working Party watchdog group this week to discuss their handling of the so-called Right to be Forgotten ruling from May.
The ruling meant that web users have the right to request that certain search terms don't return specific web pages that are indexed in search caches, in a move that has been widely criticised as amounting to censorship.
In light of the ruling the Article 29 Working Group, which represents all data-protection agencies in Europe, such as the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), met in mid-July to discuss their approach to the ruling.
“The objective was to elaborate co-ordinated and coherent guidelines on the handling of individuals’ complaints that may be submitted to the authorities in the case of negative responses from search engines to the request for removal from indexing,” it said in a release at the time.
The Working Party then asked the search engine firms such as Google and Microsoft, with its Bing platform, to meet on 24 July to discuss these proposals regarding how the ruling will be adhered too.
“The data-protection authorities have invited search engines to discuss with them, the practical implementation of the key principles in order to finalise the WP29’s guidelines foreseen for autumn 2014.”
V3 contacted the ICO, Google and Microsoft for any comment ahead of the meeting but had received no reply at the time of publication.
Google will no doubt be hoping to raise its issues with the new law as it has been vocal about the problems it is causing, with the firm inundated with requests, which it is working through and starting to remove.
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