In its transparency report, Google (Alphabet Inc, NASDAQ:GOOG) has announced that it has evaluated more than 1.2 million URLs since May 29, 2014. Last year, a court in Europe ruled that European Union citizens have the right to request for deletion of personal information from the internet.
The search giant stated that it has reviewed 1,234,082 URLs from 348,085 requests, and about 42 percent of these have been removed from the search results. Facebook was at the top spot for removal requests, with a total of 10,220 URLs removed. Other removal results were content exclusively about someone’s religion, race, health or sexual orientation. Some request included criminal convictions related to children or stories based on criminal proceedings that were overturned by the court.
Other domains affected by link removals included social networking sites such as Google+, Twitter and YouTube. Google can decide to remove the search results or not based on the circumstances. However, the search giant did not explain why it removed some links, and retained others. The company hinted that it determines whether someone is public or private, if the crimes were minor, or if any embarrassing incidents took place in the person’s professional or personal life.
For instance, Google had to remove a link about a minor crime, and then had to remove a link to a newspaper about the removal. In other cases, Google rejected a politician’s request to remove news about a decade-old criminal conviction, but removed a teacher’s link about a minor conviction years ago.
In June, France ordered Google to remove its search results in all localized versions, in turn making its contents invisible in Google worldwide. Though Google has been working on the right to be forgotten requests for a year, it can be successful only if it is not based on public interest or record.