Google, Image

Igniyte has discovered that following the right to be forgotten, a Google panel is hosting a series of debates to determine how the ruling is to be implemented.

People Have Found the Right to be Forgotten Confusing

Back in May, the European Court of Justice handed down a monumental ruling, which has since become known as the right to be forgotten. Basically, it said that if someone requests that old and irrelevant information about them be removed from Google, the search engine has to comply, unless the information is in the public interest i.e. the person has an unspent criminal conviction.

The ruling has prompted 90,000 requests to Google to remove information, of which the search engine has removed over half. These requests have included negative press stories, instances of online bullying, embarrassing photos and even serious criminal records, showing that there is a lot of confusion over what can actually be removed.

Google Tasks Panel with Clearing up Confusion over Right to be Forgotten

This confusion has prompted many people to request that information be removed that Google isn’t obliged to take down. Therefore, as the search engine continued to be flooded with thousands of requests each week, they knew they needed to define the righto be forgotten once and for all.

Which is why the search engine  has now compiled a panel, who have been tasked with gathering information from experts, governments and the public, to determine how the right to be forgotten should be interpreted going forward. The panel includes Frank La Rue, a UN Human Right Official, and Jimmy Wales, the Wikipedia founder who has been a loud critic of the right to be forgotten.

Google Panel Travels Europe to Seek Public Opinion on Right to be Forgotten

Now, in order to further understand how the ruling should be carried out, Sky News reports that the panel will hold a series of debates on the subject across Europe. The panel has already visited Madrid, is planning to visit Rome today, and then will head to Paris, Warsaw, Berlin and London before finishing in Brussels.

Essentially, the panel is holding the meeting to determine the balance between privacy and the free flow of information. In its first meeting in Madrid, according to the Guardian, Editor of the Spanish version of the Huffington Post, Montserrat Dominguez, was vocal in his criticism of the ruling, calling it a false right. Others had varying opinions, sparking furious debate in Madrid.

Let’s Determine Once and For All What Can be Removed From Google

At Igniyte, we think that these meetings could provide some much needed clarity over the confusing right to be forgotten. Since May, it has been made clear that this right is not what everybody first thought it was. Maybe this meeting will help Google craft policy which will once and for all let people know what they can and cannot request to have removed from the search engine.