So, the EU’s “Right to be Forgotten” law has been in place for about 2 years now. But does it really work? The law was passed to ensure that those in the EU have a right to privacy on the web. All they have to do to get any trace of their existence erased from the internet is file a claim, which some companies help you do if you are resident of the EU. However, a study shows that Google actually denies about 70%-75% of these claims. The reasons for denying the claims vary. Google will not remove any links that have to do with a person’s professional information, which seems like a potential way to make sure that upset business owners can’t just get their negative business reviews taken down. They also won’t remove content that has been originally put up by the person filing the claim, including social media profiles – probably because they assume that person can just take it down themselves. Other reasons for claim denials include that the information is about another person, the page isn’t actually about a person or the page is about a public persona like a celebrity.
Most of the requests for having content removed have come from the countries of UK and Germany, about 50% to be exact. The largest percentage of claims that do get accepted are to remove links on directories, followed by blogs and social media. A whopping 10% of removals come from Wikipedia alone. Even though Google has cut down the time that it takes to process one of these claims, it will still take about 20 days to work on this, compared to 49 days in the beginning of this law’s enactment.
So it seems that this law doesn’t guarantee everyone a perfect right to be forgotten, but does a decent job of trying to give the regular people the type of privacy they desire.
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