The right to be forgotten is a new phrase which search engines are dealing with concerning individuals requesting links to information pertaining to them be taken down. This all stems from a court ruling in the EU which stated that citizens’ right to be forgotten on the internet needs to be handled by search engines (namely Google) removing certain results from being returned. Bing is now following suit and processing requests to remove search results.
Originally, Google claimed that keeping search results from being returned would be very difficult technically speaking and that it would implead on their rights to share public information. Ironically, this ruling does not affect websites from posting content or publishing records which may be personally damaging, it only affects search engines returning links to the damaging content.
The Next Web has received a comment from a Microsoft spokesperson who said:
“We’ve begun processing requests as a result of the court’s ruling and in accordance with the guidance from European data protection authorities. While we’re still refining that process, our goal is to strike a satisfactory balance between individual privacy interests and the public’s interest in free expression.”
Individuals can go to Forget.Me and fill out a form requesting specific results be removed. According to the Forget.Me blog, 699 requests have been filed and 79 have been replied to by Bing. The majority (78%) of the removal requests are aimed at Google but the remaining 22% are for Bing making this a significant issue for Microsoft to comply with.