The European Court of Justice recently imposed a ruling, allowing users to remove themselves from search engine results page. Named 'right to be forgotten', search engines can hide results if a specific name appears in a query. This could potentially allow for a more censored cyberspace in which figures could remove information of their choice. The ruling states that individuals should only be allowed to remove outdated data or information irrelevant to their public image.
It was apparent Google weren't too happy with the ruling, openly attacking the law, claiming it to be "disappointing" and "has the potential to give cheer to repressive regimes". Head boss Larry Page furthered these remarks by claiming it could "damage innovation".
Page also expressed his regret for not being more involved in the debate, he wished Google played a larger role in the process. He also admitted Google had been caught out on this ruling, and promised a deeper level of engagement for future European affairs.
The article quotes Mr Page, saying:
I wish we’d been more involved in a real debate . . . in Europe. That’s one of the things we’ve taken from this, that we’re starting the process of really going and talking to people.
Three weeks on, and it looks like the company is finally complying with the 'right to be forgotten' scheme. Google now allow EU citizens to apply for the extra privacy, which can be achieved through completing an online form. Those who do apply must attach a a drivers license, national ID card or photo ID to prevent fraudulent removal requests. It may be worth noting that Google received a swarm of requests prior to the application form being available.
All in all it's good to see Google keeping relationships positive, bowing down to the European Union. The open criticism of the ruling may have previously attracted attention, but to see the tech giant ultimately cooperate with the global justice system, is not really a surprise.