Despite calls from European privacy regulators for Google to extend Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) rule to the whole Google index, Google still refuses to do so.
Since the EU’s RTBF ruling, Google has begun removing information from their search results upon request, when deemed reasonable. Thus, search results of a person’s name that are out of date, inaccurate or no longer relevant are now frequently removed by Google. The aim of this is to protect individual privacy, where the information is inaccurate or irrelevant.
Currently, the ruling applies only to European domains, so Google is removing disputed links from national domains only.
This is causing problems as EU privacy regulators argue that Europeans can easily access “.com” results – thus making the RTBF ruling a little redundant. The privacy regulators want, therefore, for Google to remove disputed links from the entire global Google index.
At present, Google is refusing to do this, with many believing that it might hamper freedom of speech and freedom of information. The EU want this privacy rule extended and applied across the globe, but in reality this also causes problems with the differing rules and laws surrounding privacy and freedom of speech across the globe.
On the one hand, incorrect or irrelevant information – especially incorrect information – should arguably be removed from search results pages. After all, if the information is inaccurate then it really isn’t any use to anyone. On the other hand, however, this causes problems with freedom of speech and freedom of information – if the information is out there, we should be able to access it easily.
It should be taken into account that the RTBF rule does not remove the information from the internet, it simply removes it from the SERPs. The information is not being denied anyone, it is simply harder to find.
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