Feeds

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

Robert Peston in right to be forgotten search takedown whodunnit

New hybrid storage solutions

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.

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
Heavy VPN users are probably pirates, says BBC
And ISPs should nab 'em on our behalf
Former Bitcoin Foundation chair pleads guilty to money-laundering charge
Charlie Shrem plea deal could still get him five YEARS in chokey
NORKS ban Wi-Fi and satellite internet at embassies
Crackdown on tardy diplomatic sysadmins providing accidental unfiltered internet access
'Serious flaws in the Vertigan report' says broadband boffin
Report 'fails reality test' , is 'simply wrong' and offers ''convenient' justification for FTTN says Rod Tucker
FAIL.GOV – Government asks Dropbox for accounts that don't exist
Storage locker's transparency report shows rise in government data gobble attempts
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
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.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.