Google’s recent move allowing users to ‘be forgotten’ is the subject of this edition of Utalk.
Stephanie in Brussels asks: “Following a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice, Google now allows European internet users to exercise their right to be forgotten online. What do you think of this new opportunity?”
The response is from Albéric Guigou, co-founder of Reputation Squad, an agency specialising in managing online reputation:
“Google reacted very rapidly following the recent ruling by the European Court of Justice. It set up an online form for internet users to fill in. They simply have to specify what content they want to be removed, specify who they are and why they want that content to be removed.
“Right from the start, Google received tens of thousands of requests.
“Basically you can legitimately exercise your right to be forgotten online in cases of identity fraud, of defamation, or if pornographic content about you has been put online, for instance.
“Google’s move to set up this online removal form is a de facto recognition of the relevance of the ‘right to be forgotten’ concept that Google has long denied. So in that respect this online form is a good thing. Practically speaking, I’d say it is more of a response to deal with their current communication crisis.
“As you know ‘business is business’ and Google wants to show goodwill. So they set up this online form. But this doesn’t mean they won’t challenge the ruling of the European Court of Justice or try to limit its scope as much as they can.
“In any case, what you’ve got to know about this new online form is that it only applies to Google searches in Europe. The content you’ll ask Google to remove won’t disappear from the internet, there will always be a way to retrieve it. If the litigious search results don’t appear anymore on Google.fr or Google.de, for example.
“By using Google US or Google Mexico or any other Google search engine you’ll be able to retrieve all the information removed from Google Europe searches. So in a growing globalised world Google’s online removal form is just part of the answer to the problem.”
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