A recent European ruling has enabled European citizens to request removal of links that infringe on their privacy.
Following the ruling, Google has started working out a process to implement it.
Yahoo is considering the various implications and BING has not commented much on this ruling yet. As far as privacy issues go this is a great thing because for logical reasons people may not wish to have pictures or any other information about themselves on the internet.
But, what about facts related to crimes committed? Shouldn’t everyone have a right to know about those?
Privacy is something that every individual has a right to but by implementing something like this information that the masses should know will not be delivered to them. Is that fair?
It seems to be a rather difficult situation. Google is currently focusing on processing some of those requests; they have created a special form that is accepting such requests. It also requires people to submit a valid ID proof so that they are sure about validity of the request. They have also created an advisory team to address this situation; they do have a difficult task ahead of them.
Supposing Google does end up removing all these links, does that mean the information will cease to exist on the internet?
For instance, if there is news about a murderer, and Google removes it from the search results, will the news sites also remove this information? Outside of the EU specific domains, the information will be available to everyone, One can access the information from anywhere in the world, so the information won’t go away. The internet has archives on history…good, bad, and ugly…and some things may not be forgotten.
But, it will certainly impact the search results in EU.
Typically, if Google removes URLs from their index, they mention that in the search results, I guess that will continue to happen for all the removal requests.
Since for the majority of people, the internet is and increasingly becoming the only source of news, is it fair to remove information that is factual and correct?
For now we can only wait and watch.
It all boils down to “What should be and what should not be forgotten”.