Google has revealed its solution for removing URLs from its index that any European demands be forgotten from the public conscience: a form.
Google already has forms for takedown requests that relate to copyright issues, and its response to the Court of Justice of the EU’s 13 May decision that the public has the digital “right to be forgotten” appears to be along similar lines.
The form is simplistic, but it comes with a few caveats for the user, the most important being that a copy of a valid photo ID must be attached. The public can make takedown requests on behalf of others, but the photo ID of the target individual must always be attached. Complainants have to provide their name and e-mail address, the country whose law applies to the request, the name of the individual featured in the relevant search results, and a list of every URL they want taken down. The key part of the form is the complainant’s explanation for the takedown since, as Google notes, the EU ruling only relates to information in its index that is “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.”
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