In case you haven’t noticed, Google is not at all happy about having to sift through thousands of different takedown requests from citizens in Europe who want to be “forgotten” in its search results. In an editorial written for The Guardian, Google chief legal officer David Drummond says that Google has so far received 70,000 takedown requests and they aren’t all from some poor kid whose most embarrassing moment got memorialized by a viral YouTube video.
“The examples we’ve seen so far highlight the difficult value judgments search engines and European society now face: former politicians wanting posts removed that criticise their policies in office; serious, violent criminals asking for articles about their crimes to be deleted; bad reviews for professionals like architects and teachers; comments that people have written themselves (and now regret),” Drummond writes. “In each case someone wants the information hidden, while others might argue that it should be out in the open.”
The most controversial Google search takedown we’ve seen so far came when Google notified BBC News that it was removing an article about disgraced former Merrill Lynch CEO Stan O’Neal. Google later revealed that O’Neal wasn’t the person who requested the takedown and that the link removal was requested by someone mentioned in the article’s comments section. That said, the case did raise troubling questions about just what information people could ask Google to erase from history.
Check out Drummond’s full editorial by clicking the source link below.