If, like us, you’ve been curious about the ‘right to be forgotten’ (RTBF), you may be interested to know that Google is now making more details public regarding its removals, via a new section of its Google Transparency Report. Statistics indicate that Facebook, ProfileEngine and YouTube rank the most highly as the sites having the most content removed.
The new system
First made possible by a European Court of Justice ruling allowing for links to outdated and irrelevant data to be taken down on request, has so far seen Google evaluate 497,697 URLs for removal, with a total of 144,954 individual requests for RTBF; 42% of the URLs requested have so far been removed.
The new section shows removal requests and successful removals by country, which is interesting, as the highest percentage of requests removed were from Germany, Austria and France, with around 50-54% success rate. The lowest percentage of allowable requests came from Portugal and Italy, with around 24%. Around 18,304 requests have so far been made in the UK, ranking it the third highest in the EU.
Google went into even more detail by providing various examples of the types of requests that they had been sent, according to country. Some of the more notable included a rape victim who wanted a newspaper article reporting the crime to be removed (which was successful) and a finance professional who wanted over 10 links removed regarding his arrest and criminal conviction for past financial crimes (unsuccessful).
One media professional put in a request to take down four links which reported on ’embarrassing’ content he himself had posted to the internet, which also proved unsuccessful.
Google has taken down over 4,100 Google Groups and YouTube links, giving it the highest overall removal rate as an entity. Individual site Facebook has seen more RTBF requests granted than any other, with over 3300 de-indexed URLs since RTBF was first launched a few months back. ProfileEngine came third, with a total of 3,289 removals, while YouTube (on its own) received 2,392 removals.
Other sites most affected included badoo.com, 192.com and wherevent.com.