Earlier in May, a Spanish man petitioned Google via The European Court of Justice to have search results related to his name and foreclosure on a property removed from the Google search results, since he had resolved the foreclosure matter, he argued that the incident should not remain in his history. The court ruled in his favour.

Google then promised that it would create a form, similar to its copyright content takedown request, to obey the ruling and provide other EU citizens the opportunity to be ‘forgotten’. Google has now officially confirmed that on the first day that it offered the service, it received 12,000 requests to be forgotten from EU citizens, according to a report from the AFP. The requests were submitted on Friday, after Google offered up an online form for users to fill to ask that search results related to their names be removed from Google’s listings.

Google says it will examine each request submitted individually, as the forms are being fielded by Google staff rather than software, to figure out whether it fits into the criteria put forth by the EU court: “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed”. Google is yet to provide an exact timeline on how long it would take for links to be cleared.

For now, this service is only available to European citizens. But if this pace keeps up, Google will have to dedicate a lot of new resources to monitoring and assessing these requests, but asides that, the decision, and the subsequent change to Google results, could have important, lasting effects. I mean, Google is supposed to have all the answers, not some.

Odunayo Eweniyi | Author

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