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Google: The Disappearing Links of Europe

google(1)If you want to remove links to information about yourself you will have to report three things to Google:   The URL of the offending material, the home country, and an explanation of why one thinks the links should disappear.

Google says it will examine every request against the criteria laid down by the court – employing humans, not algorithms, to make the judgments. Links are due to start disappearing after the middle of June.

That will be an expensive undertaking.  It should lift the employment chances of many.  The question should be asked whether this work would be outsourced to India or to Europe.  After all it is only Europe which is of relevance.  I doubt whether unemployed Europeans will benefit from the EU court judgment.

According to the Financial Times, if Google doesn’t agree with the request or cannot decide, complaints will have to be taken to national data protection agencies, who are preparing for what could become a deluge of requests.  German officials earlier this week said that they are considering a new class of courts to handle the cases.  Germany accounts for some 40 per cent of the take-down requests that have already been lodged.   What would the name of these courts?  The ‘Google Court’ or the ‘Disconnect Court’?

Searchers will be notified when a link has been removed – but not what the information was about, or a URL. That is the same in countries where Google results are already censored.  Yet even after the links have gone, the privacy-offending material will still exist on the online sites where Google’s system first found it.  So all one has to do to search in local websites of registers or news sources of the entity or person in question and it is still there, whether right or wrong!  The EU court never thought of putting right what may have been incorrect in the first place.

In the meantime new services have sprung up.  There are new companies who will do it for you.  At a hefty fee, of course.

Source:  Financial Times

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