Following the ruling of The Court of Justice of the European Union, which allows people to request the removal of their personal information from search results, Google has created a form in compliance with the same. Users can fill up the form to remove results which are inadequate, no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.
As of now, the form works only in the 28 European Union countries and four other countries including Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, only for the EU specific versions of Google.
How the Form Works:
- Enter the name for which you want to remove the results. If you are known by two names, you can only enter one name at a time. Most probably you have to fill another form to get the results removed for the second name.
- You can then list the URLs you want to remove along with the reason why you want to remove them- whether they are outdated, irrelevant or inaccurate.
- You can fill the form yourself or ask someone else to do it for you. Whatever the case may be, Google will ask you for a photo ID proof of the person whose name you want to remove from the search results, just to prove the person who is doing this for you has approval from you.
What Happens After Submission?
After you have submitted the form, Google will immediately acknowledge the receipt of the form and inform you that your message is in the queue. Once the system is up and running, it will process the request immediately. Removals can take a few days; however, it might take a while before the system gets started.
Google has already received more than 12,000 submissions to the form on the very first day and it confirmed it had been getting up to 20 requests per minute. Presently, when Google removes the results for a particular query, it still devotes a small column at the bottom of the search results page, notifying it had removed one result from the page in response to a complaint received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act. If a URL is removed from the results, the publishers and the local data protection authorities will also be informed about the same.
What Gets Removed?
Of all the requests made to remove results till now, the leading reason was to have information removed about a fraud or scam, followed by those for arrests for violence or serious crime and child pornography. The maximum requests have come from Germany, followed by Spain, UK, Italy and the least from France.
The ruling does not apply to Google alone. In fact, any search engine with a presence in the European Union, like Yahoo and Bing, must also comply with the order.