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Google introduces a way for Europeans to be forgotten online

Google introduces a way for Europeans to be forgotten online


New form allows citizens to ask for links to be deleted from results

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Google has introduced a new service that enables European citizens to remove personal information about themselves from its search engine results. The service gives European citizens the "right to be forgotten" by the world's largest search engine, and is the company's first step in complying with a recent European Court of Justice ruling that stated the search giant must amend search results when they show inaccurate information hosted by a third party.

The new service allows European citizens with a valid form of photo identification to specify links that host content they find objectionable, but the company did not say when it would begin the process of pruning the selected entries from search results. A notice on the web form says the company is "working to finalize our implementation of removal requests under European data protection law as soon as possible," and that those who ask that links are deleted from results will be notified when their request is processed.

European citizens need a valid photo ID to ask Google to remove links

In a statement to The Verge earlier this month, Google called the European Court of Justice's ruling "disappointing," saying it was surprised the new decision "differed so dramatically" from a ruling that said the firm didn't have to delete search results a year prior. Google has not explained exactly how it will choose whether to delete links marked for removal, but the company says it will "assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public's right to know and distribute information," in an effort to stop people such as scammers and criminals from hiding their tracks.