Google receives 12,000 requests as a result of ‘right to be forgotten’ ECJ decision

Google received 12,000 take-down requests from individuals on the first day it offered the service, 31 May, according to Agence France Presse. The number confirms earlier estimates given by the German daily Der Spiegel and reported in other media.

Google launched an online form last week as a response to the Court of Justice of the European Union decision on the Spanish Costeja case about EU individuals’ right to have results about them removed from Internet searches.

The form asks which EU country’s data protection law the individual refers to and asks individuals to

(a) Provide the URL for each link appearing in a Google search for their name that they request to be removed.
(b) Explain, if not clear, why the linked page is about them.
(c) Explain how this URL in search results is irrelevant, outdated, or otherwise inappropriate.

Google acknowledges that the form is an initial effort. EU Data Protection Authorities will discuss the issue in their meeting this week and plan to issue guidance. Internet firms may have to take into account how sensitive the information is and whether it is in the public interest. It is also possible that the URLs would still be accessible through in the US.

Germany’s government is considering setting up arbitration courts to evaluate just what information individuals could ask to be deleted. In the UK, the Information Commissioner has said that the EU Google judgement does not provide an absolute right to have links removed.

See the Google form at

The June issue of PL&B International Report will include an analysis of the court decision by Professor Artemi Rallo, former President of Spain’s Data Protection Authority.