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'

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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 When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information - for example, information about financial scams, professional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.” ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
UK Parliament rubber-stamps EMERGENCY data grab 'n' keep bill
Just 49 MPs oppose Drip's rushed timetable
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Delaware pair nabbed for getting saucy atop Mexican eatery
Burrito meets soft taco in alleged rooftop romp outrage
LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy
Why, we might as well have been buying AIR
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.