Google To Hold Debate Panel In Madrid Over ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ Issues And Privacy Rights
When the EU began forcing Google to abide by its "Right to be forgotten" laws, it caused a major stink all over the world. For those unaware, these laws allow anyone within the EU to submit a link removal request to Google if the link happens to involve their personal information, or can be deemed irrelevant. In essence, this ability gives people the power to remove history from being found in search engines, which goes directly against the beliefs of those who think once something happens, it should be kept in the books.
Google's Mayes County, Oklahoma Datacenter
This right to be forgotten rule stems from someone complaining to the EU's Court of Justice that searching for their name would bring up a part of their past that they wish to forget. The EU agreed, and thus this law is now in effect. Since the law came into effect in late June, Google's been inundated with removal requests - 90,000 have been received, and half have been honored.
Not surprisingly, Google's not exactly pleased with this sudden workload, especially since it believes it shouldn't exist (and many people agree with it). So to combat it, the company is going to be holding debates around the EU to help prove its point, with the first to take place in Madrid, Spain, tomorrow.
Some defendants of the right to be forgotten law are calling Google's debates a "PR war", which is a little understandable given it seems the company is in charge of picking its panel. Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, who heads France's privacy watchdog, says that the company will even control who's in the audience. But despite that being the case, Google's not without backup. Wikimedia has been so opposed to this law that it's created a page that displays URLs to all of the pages that received takedown notices. This is completely legal, because again, this law doesn't require these pages be removed; they just have to be blocked from search engine crawlers.
Google has an uphill battle with this one, and there's no telling how successful it's going to be.