Feeds

When PR backfires: Google 'forgets' BBC TV man's banker blog post

Robert Peston in right to be forgotten search takedown whodunnit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Comment On Wednesday, Google emailed the BBC to say it had removed from its search results a blog post written by TV journalist Robert Peston about Merrill Lynch boss Stan O'Neal.

Was this a PR stunt to highlight the "unfairness" of the EU ruling on the right to be forgotten? We don't know – but whether it was or not, it has backfired on the data-slurping American ad giant.

If the intention was for Peston to go ballistic and raise the cry "the internet is broken!" then someone is out of luck. The BBC man duly published a new post about the delisting of the old 2007 piece about O'Neal – and questioned why Google itself decided to break the internet.

"Its implementation of [the EU ruling] looks odd, perhaps clumsy," wrote Peston. While nobody knows for sure who submitted the takedown request, Peston speculates that it may have been done by a commenter rather than O'Neal himself.

In fact, Google isn't obliged to act upon a single request for removal - it can bounce every single one up to the national data protection authority in each EU member state.

The Court of Justice of the European Union said in its original ruling that courts will ultimately arbitrate on each request - and their decision must balance freedom of expression rights, as well as privacy rights. However, were it to bend to every request, no matter how trivial, Google would be ignoring this route and instead offering comfort to every celebrity, criminal and paedophile who feels that having the world Google their name may embarrass them.

Google is, in effect, complaining that "the internet is broken" - but Mummy those nasty European judges made it do that.

Legal sources familiar with Google's backroom campaign to get the law changed in Europe tell us it knows it has "zero chance" - but since sympathy for the corporation is in short supply these days, it might well milk this for all it's worth. ®

Bootnote

Google claimed yesterday it had received 50,000 removal requests in Europe as a result of the CJEU ruling. Which is very interesting, as that's only 9,000 higher than the figures Larry Page gave to the FT a month ago.

Bear in mind that the European Union is home to over half a billion citizens - meaning fewer than 0.01 per cent of them have complained.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
BIG FAT Lies: Porky Pies about obesity
What really shortens lives? Reading this sort of crap in the papers
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
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.
The Heartbleed Bug: how to protect your business with Symantec
What happens when the next Heartbleed (or worse) comes along, and what can you do to weather another chapter in an all-too-familiar string of debilitating attacks?