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Technology / Cybersecurity

Google is struggling to implement the ‘right to be forgotten’

Some applicants to Google’s "right to be forgotten" delisting service are providing the search engine with "false and inaccurate information", according to the company.

In a letter to the chair of the EU’s Article 29 Working Party, which oversees data protection within the union, the company outlined several problems it was experiencing in fulfilling its obligation to remove news links that were "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant".

Google said: "We generally have to rely on the requester for information, without assurance beyond the requester’s own assertions as to its accuracy.

"Even if requesters provide us with accurate information, they understandably may avoid presenting facts that are not in their favour."

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As well as requests that failed to provide adequate context, the search engine noted that people were requesting the removal of their namesakes’ links.

By mid July more than 91,000 removal requests had been sent to the company, with France leading the way 17,500, Germany a close second at 16,500 and the UK third at 12,000.

Google reported that 53% of requested URLs had been removed, with a third refused and the remainder held until more information was provided.

It added that requesters were obliged to provide identification when asking for a link removal.

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