Google, Online Reputation Management

Igniyte has discovered this week, that Google have recently announced that they have granted over 40% of right to be forgotten requests.

Confusion Spreads Over Right to be Forgotten

Last May, the EU’s highest court, the European Court of Justice, handed down a ruling which signalled a change in the way we perceive privacy online. Called the right to be forgotten, it allows people to ask search engines such as Google to remove links about them for their search terms that are old and irrelevant.

However, confusion around what can be removed as a result of the ruling, as well as resistance from major online publications, has caused many to wonder how many of the requests Google received, have actually been granted.

41.8% of Right to be Forgotten Requests Approved

Now we have received the answer from the release of the search engine giant’s latest Transparency Report. According to Google’s official Europe Blog, they have received 144,954 requests asking for links to be removed from 497,695 web pages from Google search results.

The Transparency Report itself went on to reveal how many had been granted. According to Google 41.8% of requests were granted, meanwhile 58.2% of requests were denied. Therefore, that is a margin of 16.4% in favour of denial of requests.

Google went on to shed more light on how the issue in the blog post. They revealed that the most requests for removals have come from France, Germany, the UK, Spain, and Italy respectively. They also outlined details about which domains appear most frequently in URL removal requests. Google Groups, YouTube, Badoo and Facebook all appeared in the top ten.

Transparency over the Right to be Forgotten

The search engine also talked about why they’re releasing the information, writing: “We believe it’s important to be transparent about how much information we’re removing from search results while being respectful of individuals who have made requests. Releasing this information to the public helps hold us accountable for our process and implementation.”

This transparency really shows us how the right to be forgotten has played out, ever since it was first established. As we’ve discussed before, the right to be forgotten is not necessarily the answer to how to rehabilitate an online reputation.