Feeds

Google adds 'data protection' WARNING to Euro search results

Wanna see EVERYTHING? Just click the 'use Google.com' button. Simples

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Google has begun notifying European Union-based netizens that its search results have to respect the 28-member-state bloc's 19-year-old data protection law.

The ad giant has plastered the warning on its search engine across the EU from today. But, anyone living in those countries who navigate to Google.com will find that the "censorship" - as Mountain View has wrongly attempted to characterise it - will no longer apply.

It appears to be supremely easy to dodge what Google boss Larry Page recently said was regulation of the internet in Europe.

Anyone visiting the ubiquitous search engine's landing page, such as Google.co.uk, will see a "Use Google.com" button in the bottom right-hand corner.

Clicking on that function apparently brings back any links that the ad giant may have removed following requests from individuals who wanted certain queries killed.

A landmark decision from the EU's highest court in May ruled that Google can be held responsible for the type of personal data that appears on its search engine, which commands roughly 90 per cent of the market in Europe.

But many were quick to inaccurately suggest that the ruling meant that a strong so-called "right to be forgotten" online had been established.

In fact, Google can say no to complaints and it's ultimately up to the courts and national data protection regulators to decide whether individual gripes carry weight or not.

The European Court of Justice affirmed that privacy was a fundamental right alongside free expression. And it ruled that Google, as a massive corporation that operates within the EU, had to acknowledge the rights of individuals, who can reasonably ask for "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to those purposes and in the light of the time that has elapsed" links to be removed.

Late last month, Google hastily threw together an online form that EU-based netizens could fill in to submit requests for certain types of links to be removed from the ad giant's search index.

This warning now appears at the bottom of Google search in the EU

Google claimed to the Wall Street Journal that it had a backlog of requests to sift through. A figure of 41,000 such complaints being received in the days after the ruling was floated to the press from Google last month in a clear effort to hype its "censorship" claims.

It told the WSJ on Thursday that the objections to links in its search index were being "assessed individually" and added: "we're working as quickly as possible to get through the queue."

But, for those who want a workaround to the ruling, Google.com is your friend.

Use google.com button

If, like Vulture Central's backroom gremlins, you can't find the 'use Google.com' button, this graphic may help you

Interestingly, the competition wing of the European Commission recently rejected a complaint about Google.com in Brussels' long-running antitrust row with the multi-billion-dollar firm. The case is focusing on allegations that Google abused its dominant position in search in Europe with a settlement deal - in which Mountain View does not have to admit any wrongdoing or pay a hefty fine – and a decision is expected later this year.

Mapping outfit Hot Maps had challenged the Commission's decision to ignore search queries carried out by EU netizens on Google.com.

But Brussels officials dismissed the gripe and said they had been satisfied with stats provided by Google that appeared to show that fewer than five per cent of all searches by EEA netizens were performed on the google.com domain. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.