Google plans to flag censored search results

Data protection

Google plans to flag censored search results

Warwick Ashford

Google plans to indicate when search results have been censored as a result of the landmark European Court of Justice ruling that supported the controversial right to be forgotten principle.

The court ruled that Europeans had the right to demand that "irrelevant or outdated" information be deleted from search results.

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Google was inundated with take-down requests following the ruling, forcing the company to introduce an online application form to deal with requests.

Now the internet firm is reportedly considering placing an alert at the bottom of each page where it has removed links in line with take-down requests made under the ruling.

The system will be similar to the one Google already has in place where search results have been edited in line with take-down requests.

For example, a Google search for "Adele MP3" shows that three results have been removed in response to a complaint received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, reports The Guardian.

Google also plans to include information about "right to be forgotten" removals in its biannual transparency report on government requests worldwide to remove links from search results.

Last week, Google said it had already received 41,000 take-down requests from Europeans, including politicians, murderers and paedophiles.

Google chief executive Larry Page has said nearly one-third of the requests related to a fraud or scram, 20% concerned serious crime, and 12% were connected to child pornography arrests.

Google has set up an advisory committee to make recommendations on how to evaluate whether removing information is in the public interest or not.

Opponents have said the process is tantamount to censorship and Google’s decision to flag edited results does nothing to address the absence of legal oversight in the process.


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