Feeds

Google: Grab our TOOL if you want your search query quashed

'We're working with the EU to improve this. Meantime, give us YOUR ID'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Google is now offering European Union netizens a hastily thrown together online form they can fill in to submit requests for certain types of links to be removed from the ad giant's search index.

It comes after the EU's highest court ruled earlier this month that Google can be held responsible for the type of personal data that appears on its ubiquitous search engine.

Google admitted that the form – not obviously accessible but available through a user-initiated search of its support page – was just a temporary measure rushed out in reaction to the European Court of Justice decision.

The landmark ruling had concluded that search engine operators were obliged – in some circumstances – to kill links to web pages that are published by third parties.

The Larry Page-run company noted that it was required to comply with the ruling where such removal requests relate to an individual complaining about queries that include their name displaying results that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed."

Google said:

In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information - for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.

The multi-billion-dollar advertising mammoth confessed that the frankly amateurish form was "an initial effort." It said: "We look forward to working closely with data protection authorities and others over the coming months as we refine our approach."

Meanwhile, anyone asking to have queries removed from Google's search index will need to provide valid photo ID, such as a copy of their passport or driving licence.

But Google – which commands more than 90 per cent of the search market in Europe – made no mention today of how long it plans to retain that particular sensitive information on its servers.

Page told the Financial Times that Google was setting up a committee of members to advise the company on how to deal with privacy issues in the EU. Wikipedia chief Jimmy Wales is among the advisors. Exec chairman Eric Schmidt will head up the committee.

“We’re trying now to be more European and think about it maybe more from a European context,” Page told the FT. “A very significant amount of time is going to be spent in Europe talking.”

The CEO once again claimed that the ruling would increase online censorship and be bad for start-ups in Europe. “We’re a big company and we can respond to these kind of concerns and spend money on them and deal with them, it’s not a problem for us,” he told FT. “But as a whole, as we regulate the internet, I think we’re not going to see the kind of innovation we’ve seen.” ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.